Combat and Collaboration in Seattle's Historic Minimum Wage Debate

Abstract

This E-PARCC award-winning case, "Combat and Collaboration in Seattle's Historic Minimum Wage Debate” provides a gripping and vivid example of an innovative policy-making process in a major city. Students are thrust into the action as the Mayor of Seattle struggles to find common ground between the age-old foes of labor and business after creating a committee of stakeholders to design a new minimum wage law. If the Mayor succeeds, Seattle will become the first major city in the country to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour. Meetings were confidential at the time, but contemporary interviews with Mayor Murray and 10 committee members reveal the narrative of what happened behind closed doors.

The case is an effective real-life example that enables students to apply frameworks of agenda setting, stakeholder analysis and mobilization, conflict resolution, and negotiation. It can be taught in the first year of public administration, policy, or affairs programs, in a negotiation course, or as a key component of an executive program. It fits best in courses that focus on leadership and the intersection of policy making and politics. The case also has significant applicability to business administration programs due to its showcase of a modern public negotiation between business and labor.

See the press release here: https://evans.uw.edu/blog/2018/05/erik-houser-wins-eparcc-teaching-case-award

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