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Labor Report

Minimum Wage Still Cooking in PA

Despite the financial challenges facing Pennsylvania due to Republican intransigence, I was pleased that Gov. Tom Wolf called for a $10.15 minimum wage rate during his budget address. As you know, our current minimum is $7.25.

Senator TartaglioneThe tunnel vision that has led Pennsylvania to a fiscal cliff has also prevented our frontline workers from receiving a pay raise for the past seven years, but $10.15 an hour is the best indication that our fight for a fair minimum wage will continue in earnest.

My legislation, Senate Bill 195 and SB 196, would increase PA’s minimum wage to $10.10 and the tipped minimum to 70 percent of the regular rate (or $3.95 an hour, based on a $10.10 minimum wage).

Whether it’s $10.10 or $10.15, more than a million workers will get a pay raise, countless employers will have more focused employees, and government subsidies will fall when the Republican leadership gets out of the way and finally allows a vote on proposals to increase the minimum wage.

The day after the governor’s budget address, I joined Raise The Wage PA in the Capitol Rotunda to generate new pressure on reluctant lawmakers.

As I told rally-goers, a $10.10 minimum wage would help Pennsylvania’s frontline workers and it would help generate new revenue for the commonwealth.

It’s a very common-sense approach to a very large and expanding problem we face here in Harrisburg.

There would be a $121.5 million increase in state income and sales taxes and a shift of $104 million in Medicaid payments from the state to the federal government.

Paying people a fair wage of not less than $10.10 per hour reaps huge benefits for this commonwealth and all of the families who live here. These changes would go a long way in a budget environment like ours.

Union Job Opp!

SEIUThe United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania is looking to hire a Philadelphia based organizer.

This is good news because home care workers, even though they play a critical role in our health care system, are some of the lowest paid workers. The workers recently won their union (United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania is affiliated jointly with AFSCME and SEIU.

They are building a movement to win better wages and benefits, as well as dignity and respect, for home care workers and the seniors and people with disabilities they care for.

Labor Corner

No commentary here, just some minimum wage and labor-related news from recent weeks that I wanted to share:

St. Christopher's nurses vote to form union

Ride-sharing through the fog of labor laws

Rauner, Madigan battle again on labor bill a day after Obama urged compromise

Oregon Senate approves minimum wage hike after marathon debate

One Solution for the Federal Minimum Wage: Five Minimum Wages





SEIU Healthcare