Like many of you, I was pleasantly surprised when the President announced at his State of the Union address last week that he supports raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. I was even more encouraged to hear the President say that the minimum wage should be tied to cost of living.
We have an opportunity to to lead the way right here in New York. On Thursday, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced a new bill that would increase the state minimum wage to $9 an hour and index it to inflation, meaning that as the cost of living rises, so too will the minimum wage.
Over the past three decades, wages for low and middle class workers have stagnated. According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, “[w]hile productivity grew 80% between 1979 and 2009, the hourly wage of the median worker grew by only 10.1%.” The EPI surmises that since the 1970s, corporate America has eroded workers’ rights through deregulation, weakening of labor laws, and privatization of public services, thereby giving them less power with which to fight for proper wages.
The time is now to fight back against that trend, by supporting this legislation. You can contact your State Senator HERE.
You can also sign Senator Brad Hoylman’s petition HERE.
Together, we can once again make New York a progressive beacon for social change.