Governor Cuomo, Labor Leaders Rally in Buffalo to Support Raising New York’s Minimum Wage
Governor Unveils Fight For Fair Pay Website to Help Build Support For the Fight For Fair Pay
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the “Fight for Fair Pay” campaign, a call to action to raise the minimum wage in New York this year. The campaign includes a website, www.ny.gov/FightForFairPay, which provides information and resources about the importance of raising the minimum wage in the State. The Governor proposes to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10.50 per hour and to $11.50 per hour in New York City. Today, the Governor joined labor and community leaders in Buffalo to rally for the increased minimum wage, which would enable more New Yorkers to better support themselves and their families. Over the next few weeks, the Governor and members of his cabinet will travel across the State to rally support for the Governor's proposal and make it a reality.
“The sweetest and healthiest success is one that enables everyone to do well together – that is what community is all about,” Governor Cuomo said. “As our economy recovers and our businesses add new jobs, we need to ensure our entire workforce has the opportunity to be part of the economic recovery and new momentum we are seeing in all corners of the State. New York has always been a leader in protecting our workers and building strong communities, and this year we must continue to move forward by fighting for fair pay and raising the minimum wage statewide.”
The State’s current minimum wage is $8.75 per hour, which has fallen far below the average hourly wage in the State. In 2012, the Governor signed legislation into law that increased the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 incrementally by December 31, 2015 to better align with the cost of living across the State. However, as the cost of living in New York continues to rise, the Governor proposes to again increase the minimum wage to increase earnings for many wage earners in low-income households, which will also aid local economies. Business and labor organizations including the Retail Council of New York State, Hotel and Motel Trades Council, 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU and others support the Governor's efforts to increase the minimum wage.
A reasonable minimum wage can help improve the standard of living for workers, reduce poverty, encourage fair and more efficient business practices, and ensure that the most vulnerable members of the workforce can contribute to the economy.
The New York State Department of Labor projects that the proposed increase in the minimum wage outside New York City will generate $1.5 billion annually in increased wages, with $1.9 billion annually in increased wages in New York City—tallying to more than $3.9 billion in higher wages statewide, a significant boost for the state economy.
Key Statistics for Minimum Wage Workers in New York State
- There are currently more than 594,000 minimum wage ($8.75) workers in New York State.
- Raising the minimum wage will help adults:
- 55% of hourly workers earning $10.50 or less outside of NYC are over age 25.
- 34% of hourly workers earning $10.50 or less outside of NYC are over age 35.
- 75% of hourly workers earning $11.50 or less in NYC are over age 25.
- 51% of hourly workers earning $11.50 or less in NYC are over age 35.
- Raising the minimum wage will help women:
- 57% of hourly workers earning $10.50 or less outside of NYC are female.
- 55% of hourly workers earning $11.50 or less in NYC are female.
- Raising the minimum wage to the level the Governor is proposing will lift more than 100,000 New Yorkers out of poverty.
More information about the facts related to raising the minimum wage in New York is available here.
Last week, the Governor applauded the State Department of Labor’s decision to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to $7.50 per hour – the highest ever wage for tipped workers in New York – beginning December 31, 2015. This was based on the recommendations of the Wage Board, which the Department convened at the Governor’s direction in 2014 to review and recommend changes to regulations for food service workers and service employees. The Department accepted a number of the Board’s recommendations regarding tipped wages, including the increased minimum wage.
The Governor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage is part of 10-point plan to combat poverty and fight inequality included in his 2015 Opportunity Agenda:
1. Raise the minimum wage to $10.50 statewide and $11.50 in New York City.
2. Expand the Unemployment Strikeforce to the top ten highest areas of unemployment to help ensure every New Yorker who wants a job can find one.
3. Double the funding for the Urban Youth Jobs Program to combat the unacceptably high unemployment rates among inner-city youth in communities across New York.
4. Invest more than $486 million in housing for vulnerable New Yorkers.
5. Invest an additional $220 million in homeless services.
6. Invest $183 million to support NY/NY IV Housing Program to create additional supportive housing units for populations requiring a little more aid.
7. Commit $4.5 million to advance the Governor’s Anti-Hunger Task Force.
8. Create a $50 million Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program to improve the quality, efficiency, accessibility, and reach of nonprofit human services organizations that serve New Yorkers.
9. Increase MWBE opportunities to 30 percent.
10. Create the Get On Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program to help eligible New York State residents who graduate from college and continue to live in the state pay nothing on their student loans for the first two years out of school.