Statement from George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare union in New York State and the nation:
“The increase in New York’s minimum wage is a victory for working people. It’s a significant step towards addressing income inequality in New York, which has the worst disparity of any state. Over a million New Yorkers need this raise to help pay the rent and feed their families, and our economy needs this boost.”
Statement of Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:
“We thank Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for showing leadership in originally calling for and continually fighting for an increase in the minimum wage. Many low-wage workers will benefit from the Assembly’s efforts. However, while we regret that more wasn’t done, we understand that the Speaker and the Assembly were hamstrung by a political process where they had to contend with other partners whose agendas ignored many of the needs of hardworking low-wage workers. We are incredibly disappointed in the creation of a dangerous tax credit that subsidizes the minimum wage increase for large retailers like Wal-Mart at a time when there are substantial funding cuts to essential services. The tax credit creates harmful incentives to replace adult workers with younger part time students, and imposes an unprecedented ceiling on wages, since employers are penalized if they pay younger workers more than exactly the minimum wage.”
New York, NY – Labor, business, community, religious and policy groups from around the state reacted to the agreement by the legislature and Governor Cuomo to increase New York’s minimum wage over the next three years, as part of the state budget being voted on this week.
The agreement includes a commitment that Governor Cuomo will use the Department of Labor wage board process to determine the appropriate raise for thousands of tipped restaurant workers whose base wage – currently $5.00 per hour – will not automatically be raised under the budget deal.
After historic leadership from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a clear commitment from Governor Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State speech, and strong backing from Assembly and Senate members, including Senate Co-President Jeff Klein and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the final minimum wage increase legislation was negotiated this weekend, with a strong push from Assembly negotiators.
Albany, NY—As new details emerge about secret giveaways to big business in the deal to hike the minimum wage, a coalition of labor, community, policy and religious groups vowed to fight for an agreement that works for all New Yorkers.
The loophole-laden deal to raise New York’s minimum wage taints what should have been a signature accomplishment for Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders.
The Buffalo News reported Tuesday that the deal includes tax breaks for businesses that employ teenagers making the minimum wage and that tipped workers—such as waiters and car wash workers—will not be getting the wage hike.
New York – Business organizations and owners across New York State are calling on lawmakers to enact the minimum wage increase to $9 that was already passed in the State Assembly with indexing for inflation and no provisions that would weaken coverage for tipped workers or any other workers covered by existing law.
As said in a joint statement signed by Costco, the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Eileen Fisher, ABC Home, Buffalo First, BALCONY, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Hudson Valley ReThink Local and nearly 400 business owners and organizations across New York:
“With far less buying power than it had four decades ago, today’s minimum wage means poverty for working families and weakens the consumer demand at the heart of our economy. A higher minimum wage makes good business sense. It puts money in the hands of New Yorkers who will put it right back into local businesses, buying needed goods and services. And nothing drives business job creation more than consumer demand. Increasing minimum wage also reduces the strain on our social safety net caused by inadequate wages.”
Albany, NY – The New York State Assembly today advanced legislation, sponsored by Speaker Sheldon Silver, that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.00 per hour and index the minimum wage to rise automatically with the cost of living each year.
“Far too many working people in New York are struggling just to survive,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “They worry how they will afford to house and feed their families. The working poor go to work each day, and still they can’t provide the basic necessities of life. When wages don’t keep pace with rising costs and prices, survival becomes more and more difficult. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can do something about it. We call on the State Senate to follow the Assembly’s lead and pass a strong minimum wage bill, with indexing. New York’s working poor can’t afford to wait any longer.”
“Speaker Silver and the Assembly have set the course for a wage increase that will put billions more into workers’ paychecks, boost consumer demand at local businesses and leave a legacy of economic fairness for decades to come,” said Michael Kink, executive director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition. “Senate Co-Presidents Klein and Skelos and Governor Cuomo should get this bill passed and signed ASAP – the public wants it and the economy needs it.”
Albany, NY- If Romney can, so can you: that was the message the Raise the Minimum Wage Coalition delivered to Senate Co-President Dean Skelos and Senate Republicans today on the need to support a higher minimum wage with indexing to inflation.
Following the Assembly’s passage of the $9.00 minimum wage increase with indexing, the statewide Raise the Minimum Wage Coalition immediately applied new pressure on Skelos and Senate Republicans to pass the state legislation that has growing bipartisan support. They invoked Mitt Romney’s support for a minimum wage hike with indexing to show that Republicans are on their side.
“Skelos and Senate Republicans need to recognize the increasing number of business owners, working people, and elected officials who are united behind this bipartisan effort to make our economy stronger and fairer,” said Michael Kink of the Strong Economy for All Coalition. “Bogus arguments against this bill have been defeated by mainstream moderates in both parties.”
New York – Business leaders across New York State applauded the Assembly for passing a bill today that would raise the minimum wage to $9 and adjust it annually for the cost of living, and urged the Senate to follow suit. Costco, the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Eileen Fisher, ABC Home, Buffalo First, BALCONY, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Hudson Valley ReThink Local and nearly 400 business owners and organizations across New York said in a joint statement delivered to Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers today that raising the minimum wage will benefit businesses and the state economy.
The New York State Minimum Wage Coalition issued the following statement Thursday in response to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 and index it to inflation:
“Speaker Silver and his Assembly colleagues are on the right track to help New York’s lowest-paid workers. Our coalition strongly supports moving New York’s minimum wage to $9 per hour and indexing it for inflation.
We salute the Speaker and Assembly Members Wright and Heastie for their strong legislation. And we encourage Senate Co-President Klein, Senate Minority Leader Stewart-Cousins and other Senate champions of raising the wage to develop new, stronger legislative proposals as well.
If President Obama and Mitt Romney can agree on raising the wage and indexing it, we certainly expect that Speaker Silver, Governor Cuomo and Senate Co-Presidents Klein and Skelos can do the same.
ALBANY—Hundreds of workers, advocates and members of the clergy will march on the state Capitol in Albany Tuesday, calling on the state legislature to increase the minimum wage to at least $8.75 per hour and ensure that it is indexed to keep up with the rising cost of living in New York.
After marching from Westminster Presbyterian Church to the Capitol, the group will hold a rally and prayer service on the “Million-Dollar Staircase.” They’ll then deliver petitions with more than 25,000 signatures urging lawmakers to give low-wage workers a raise to the Senate’s chambers.
Monday is the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. It’s a good time to review the damage it has done, and to understand how New York can lead the nation out of the wreckage.
The 2012 elections were the most expensive in our nation’s history. The cost was more than $6 billion, about the size of South Carolina’s entire state budget.
So who’s coughing up all that dough?