The Advocacy Network to End Family Homelessness, working with Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, is seeking support for the minimum wage bill in Massachusetts. The following is a blog by ANEFH Coordinator Norman Carl Miller.
This week call/email the House Speaker DeLeo, and your state representative. Leadership of the MA House of Representatives needs to know that we want a higher minimum wage but NOT at the cost of unemployment benefits or changes to earned income tax credits!
Please tell Speaker DeLeo and your state representative (to make sure they know) that
- you want a higher minimum and tipped worker wage similar to Senate Bill amounts, and
- you don't want the increased minimum wage to be tied to cuts to unemployment insurance or earned income tax protection for low income workers, or to a reduced minimum wage for teens!
Your action will make a difference!
Reasons for Needed Advocacy:
The minimum wage in Massachusetts of $8 per hour (~$16,000/year) and $2.64 per hour for tipped workers has not kept up with inflation, because it has not been raised in 15 years. As a result, many of our nearly 580,000 low wage workers can’t afford housing, health care and food. 75% of these minimum wage earners are over 20 and 25% are parents of children under 18.
The Massachusetts Senate subsequently responded by passing a strong minimum wage law which would raise the minimum wage to $11/hr and the tipped minimum wage to $5.50/hr.
However, business lobbyists with the support of Speaker DeLeo are fighting the House version of the bill by proposing it be tied to cuts in other business costs including unemployment insurance, and earned income tax credits for low income workers. They also are promoting a separate and lower minimum wage for teens, when there are more than 6000 unaccompanied and homeless youth trying to survive on minimum wage in our state.
If we wait for the 2014 ballot on minimum wage, we will see unprecedented lobbying by business interests from across the country. Passage of the Massachusetts Minimum Wage ballot issue will not be certain.
The State House of Representatives needs to know that we want a higher minimum wage but NOT at the cost of necessary aid to those without jobs!
TO FIND CONTACT INFO FOR YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE GO HERE and enter your zip code. House Speaker Robert DeLeo Email: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov, 617-722-2500, fax 617-722-2008 State House, Room 356, Boston, MA 02133
For more information, contact N. Carl Miller, Coordinator ANEFH Steering Committee, Advocacy Network to End Family Homelessness
Endorsed by the Homelessness Task Team of the MACUCC