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Rich vs. Poor School Funding Disparity Hits Record

ALBANY — In the opening salvo of what promises to be a heated battle this year over education reform, a new report says funding inequities between poor and rich school districts across the state has reached record levels under Gov. Cuomo – and has soared 43% in New York City.

Overall, schools in poorer districts spent $8,733 per pupil less in 2012 than those from wealthier ones, an inequity that grew by nearly 9% from before Cuomo took office in 2011, according to the study by a coalition of education advocacy groups opposing many of the reforms pushed by Cuomo.

Zephyr Teachout #BillionairesBoughtAlbany White Paper

The same hedge funds that bought the recent elections to win influence with Cuomo and Senate Republicans now want to use their clout to transform our public education system, but we’re not going to let it happen.

Hedge Fund White Paper Teachout Final

In New Campaign, Zephyr Teachout and Working Families Party Push to Limit Hedge Fund Control over Public Education

Before Possible Special Session in Albany, Broad Coalition Condemns Hedge Fund Leaders Who Bought Control of Cuomo and State Senate and Now Want Control of Schools

New York, NY— The same hedge funds that bought the recent elections to win influence with Cuomo and Senate Republicans now want to use their clout to transform our public education system, but we’re not going to let it happen.

That was the message today from Zephyr Teachout, the Working Families Party, and a broad coalition of concerned parents. Ahead of a possible special legislative session in Albany next week, they gathered on the steps of the Tweed courthouse to launch a new campaign to fight the growing efforts of hedge funds to run New York’s schools and dictate education policy. 

New Statewide Poll Shows Strong Majority of Likely Voters in Key Senate Races More Likely to Vote for Candidates Supporting Minimum Wage Increase Proposal, Ending Corporate Tax Loopholes for School Funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | October 28, 2014
   Residents in Long Island, Hudson Valley and Western New York explain importance of wages and school funding positions of candidates in moving voters, as GOTV efforts ramp up


New York – In the final full week of the campaigns for State Senate, Public Policy Polling released a statewide poll showing that a strong majority of likely voters across the state, and particularly in seven competitive New York State Senate districts that will determine control of the chamber, support a Good Jobs, Good Schools agenda of policy proposals that provide fair wages for workers and full funding for schools. The poll found that likely voters across the state overwhelmingly say they are more likely to vote for Senate candidates who support these policy proposals– nearly 2 of every 3 of the voters are more likely to choose a candidate supportive of increasing the minimum wage with local wage authorization and nearly 3 of every 4 are more likely to vote for a candidate that backs closing corporate tax loopholes to fully fund public schools.

Press Release: Workers, Advocates Call on Cuomo’s Wage Board to Eliminate Sub-Minimum Wage for 230K Tipped Workers in New York

Poverty Rate Among Tipped Workers Double That of Regular Workforce


Following the first convening of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s wage board on Monday, workers and advocates called for the elimination of the sub-minimum wage for New York State’s 230,000 tipped workers at a rally in New York City.


“I can’t live on $6.40 an hour, it’s that simple,” said Jose Sanchez, 32, a pizza deliveryman who has worked at a Domino’s in Washington Heights for four years. “Domino’s says that because we make tips, that’s enough. It never is, especially when they’re pocketing some of our wages in the process. Profitable chains like Domino’s pay us so little that we have to live on food stamps and Medicaid. The Wage Board can help fix that by getting rid of the sub-minimum wage.”


Employers in New York can still pay less than the minimum wage—just $5 an hour—to restaurant servers, delivery workers, and other service workers. While employers are legally required to “top off” a tipped worker’s pay when it falls short of the regular minimum wage, lax and disorganized enforcement enables employers to routinely violate minimum wage, overtime and other wage and hour laws with minimal repercussion. 

Tipped Workers Welcome Newly-Announced “Wage Board,” Urge Cuomo Admin to End Sub-Minimum Wage

A “wage order” eliminating NY’s tipped sub-minimum wage would promote fair pay for working women and raise wages for 229,000 tipped workers across the state

Albany, NY –Tipped workers called on the Cuomo administration today to use a newly-announced Wage Board to eliminate New York’s tipped sub-minimum wage, which is currently just $5.00 per hour for food service workers like restaurant servers, and $5.65 per hour for other service workers such as tipped hotel workers. By issuing an order requiring employers to directly pay tipped workers the state’s full minimum wage, the Wage Board could significantly boost pay for an estimated 229,000 low-paid tipped workers in the state – 70 percent of whom are women – according to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project.
“I’ve been a busser in New York for eight years, and I earn just $5 per hour,” said Martin Sanchez, member of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York. “Though I bus food for a living, I struggle to feed myself and my family especially because tips are low and inconsistent. I am glad that the Wage Board will finally address tipped workers’ wages, and I hope they will agree that we deserve a raise.”

Cuomo Convenes Wage Board

Over 200,000 tipped workers in New York need a raise, and our economy needs the bottom-up boost that raise would provide.  Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Rivera have given these three New Yorkers a real opportunity to make a big difference, and we salute their service.  We urge the Wage Board to fight New York’s worst-in-the-nation income inequality by eliminating the current sub-minimum wage and helping workers all over the state support their families and communities. -Michael Kink Exec. Director Strong Economy For All Coalition


By Jimmy Vielkind
11:31 a.m. | Jul. 24, 2014

ALBANY—Sixteen months after state lawmakers agreed to a minimum wage hike that excluded tipped workers, Governor Andrew Cuomo convened a wage board that could unilaterally raise their pay.

As Cuomo Prepares “Wage Board” Appointments, Fast-Food Workers and Women’s Leaders Call to End Sub-Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

New report finds a “Wage Order” eliminating NY’s tipped sub-minimum wage would promote fair pay for working women and raise wages for 229,000 tipped workers across the state


Albany, NY – Marking a new front in the fight for fair pay for low-wage workers in New York, a new coalition of women’s leaders, fast-food delivery workers, and low-wage tipped workers across the state are calling for an end to the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers as the Cuomo administration prepares to appoint a Wage Board charged with recommending an increase in the state’s tipped sub-minimum wage.


On Thursday, fast-food delivery workers — joined by dozens of other low-wage tipped workers and supporters – will rally outside a Manhattan Domino’s to call for an end to New York’s tipped sub-minimum wage. Citing rampant wage theft, tipped workers will demand an administrative Wage Order that requires companies to directly pay tipped workers the state’s full minimum wage, with tips in addition.

USA Today Study: States that raised minimum wage had stronger job growth

By: Paul Davidson

A recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research attempts to undercut the argument that raising the minimum wage kills jobs.

The study, which updates a Goldman Sachs analysis to include data from April and May, shows that the 13 states that increased their minimum wages on Jan. 1 have had stronger employment growth than the 37 states that didn’t. The study compared average employment during the first five months of 2014 with the last five months of 2013.

New York City Leaders Reach Accord on $75 Billion Budget


Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, have announced an agreement on a $75 billion budget that Mr. de Blasio said signaled a more compassionate era for New York City, with investments in public housing, expanded prekindergarten programs and summer jobs for youths, but with no tax increases or major cuts.

The plan “signals the beginning of many other steps we will take to help the people of this city,” he said, speaking late Thursday in the City Hall rotunda.