Showing posts with label minimum wage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minimum wage. Show all posts

Saturday, August 14, 2021

"there isn’t a single US county where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford a modest two-bedroom rental"

"Nearly half of American workers do not earn enough to rent a one-bedroom apartment, according to new data.

Rents in the US continued to increase through the pandemic, and a worker now needs to earn about $20.40 an hour to afford a modest one-bedroom rental. The median wage in the US is about $21 an hour.

The data, from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, shows that millions of Americans – from Amazon warehouse workers to cab drivers to public school teachers – are struggling to pay rent. For the poorest Americans, market-rate housing is out of reach in virtually all of the country."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/aug/12/housing-renter-affordable-data-map


Guardian graphic. Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition. Note: In 2021 dollars
Guardian graphic. Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition. Note: In 2021 dollars


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

"a rare opportunity—and a responsibility—to reimagine the path towards what I call “back to better”"

An excerpt from Senate President Karen Spilka's remarks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, April 13, 2021: 

"I have been particularly struck by the statistics on the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on women in the workplace. Before the pandemic, women in Massachusetts were participating in the workforce at increasing rates, surpassing the national rate by 2019 – but the pandemic has brought women back to where they were after the 2009 recession. In fact, the percentage of women participating in the U.S. labor market in October 2020 was the lowest since 1988.

It is clear to me that if we wish to have a full and equitable recovery, we must take a close look at the factors that affect women’s employment, at every level and in every sector, and one clear factor that we must address is caregiving. In the same way that we learned to diversify our sectors after the last recession, we are now learning that we must support and strengthen the caregiving sector in Massachusetts so that we can support working families across the Commonwealth.

Almost exactly one year ago today, I appeared before this Chamber, in what was your first ever virtual forum, if you can believe it, and declared that childcare was as important to our infrastructure as roads and bridges in getting people back to work. The struggles of the past year have borne this out, which is why I have pushed the Legislature to begin to address the need for childcare, including providing for emergency childcare for essential workers, increasing rates for early education providers, and dedicating $40 million for a new reserve to cover parent fees for those receiving subsidized childcare. We also established the Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission to review childcare funding and make recommendations on policy changes to expand access.

With the promise of over $500 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan, we are well-poised to make more strides in making childcare more accessible and affordable, and I look forward to working with all of you to dedicate our best thinking towards tackling this problem, both in the public and private sectors.

But childcare is just one piece of what many are calling a “caregiving crisis”–a storm that has been brewing on our horizon for a few years, but which COVID-19 has turned into a full-blown tsunami. Many people, mostly women, who work in non-caregiving professions, but are sandwiched between aging parents and growing children, have dropped out of the workforce in alarming numbers to care for those who rely on them, while too many Black and brown women who work in caregiving professions have been crushed by the job losses of the economic downturn, with devastating results for their families and communities. As we all feel the squeeze of this caregiving crisis, is it any surprise that we are facing a mental health crisis as well?

But this is Massachusetts, my friends, and I know we can do better. "

Continue reading the full text of Senate President Spilka's remarks
https://karenspilka.com/updates/2021/4/13/sd2diqeu9ul39l05kvjwx6zu4lulna 

"a rare opportunity—and a responsibility—to reimagine the path towards what I call “back to better”"
"a rare opportunity—and a responsibility—to reimagine the path towards what I call “back to better”"


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Boston Globe: "Workers to get a boost in 2021 as new laws take effect Jan. 1"

The Boston Globe has the following:
"The new year will be an important one for workers’ rights in Massachusetts. Here are three key pieces of legislation that will take effect in 2021. The trio is part of a large labor and wages bill passed in 2018, known as the grand bargain. Advocates say several of the measures will help workers desperately in need of relief during the pandemic. In addition, starting this year workers will be eligible for holiday pay on Juneteenth, after officials recognized it as a state holiday.

1. Paid family and medical leave

Starting next year, all employees in Massachusetts will have access to paid family and medical leave that will allow up to 12 weeks of family leave and up to 20 weeks of medical leave, with the guarantee that they would be restored to their same or equivalent positions, with the same status, pay, and employment benefits."
 
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

MassBudget: Workers' Policies That Work For Everyone










  MassBudget: Workers' Policies That Work For Everyone     
September 3, 2019

The Importance of Improving Workers' Lives
September is here and many of us are preparing for the start of the school year and heading back to work after this Labor Day weekend. In honor of our nation's holiday celebrating the socioeconomic achievements of workers, here's a look at some of the workers' justice issues we have been focusing on in 2019:
  • In January 2019, the Massachusetts minimum wage increased from $11 to $12 per hour, the first of five annual steps on the way to $15 in 2023. This historic win will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers across the state, along with their families and communities. 
  • Wage increases are vital to economic security. But workers need more than a raise, they need fair workweeks. Bills now before the Massachusetts Legislature would require large retail, food service, and hospitality employers to give their workers advanced notice of their schedules, time to rest between shifts, and access to more hours when they're available. Unstable scheduling practices affect household finances, health, and family well-being, and fixing the problem could help workers and businesses.
  • Hourly workers aren't the only ones demanding better schedules. Salaried workers are eligible for overtime, but outdated and confusing federal and state overtime laws make it easy for employers to require them to work 50 or more hours a week without paying them extra in overtime. MassBudget wrote about how modernizing the Massachusetts overtime law would grant new or stronger overtime protections to 435,000 salaried workers in Massachusetts, that's one out of four salaried workers.
  • Wage increases, fair workweeks, and modernized overtime protections are all important. But like all worker rights' protections, they need to be enforced. An innovative approach known as whistleblower enforcement could strengthen workers' ability to hold employers accountable in court - even if they've signed mandatory arbitration agreements. It could also provide the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division with much-needed funding for outreach and enforcement, and support a permanent grassroots infrastructure for education and enforcement of workplace rights.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET AND POLICY CENTER

1 STATE STREET, SUITE 1250
BOSTON, MA 02109


Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 1 State Street, Suite 1250, Boston, MA 02109
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Whistleblower enforcement
http://massbudget.org/reports/pdf/MassBudget%20testimony%20Wage%20Theft%20and%20Whistleblower%20Enforcement.pdf

Overtime link
http://massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=Its-About-Time.html

Fair Workweek testimony
http://massbudget.org/reports/pdf/MassBudget%20testimony%20-%20Fair%20Workweek.pdf

Minimum wage increaseimpact
http://massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=Impact-of-$12-Massachusetts-Minimum-Wage.html

MassBudget: Workers' Policies That Work For Everyone
MassBudget: Workers' Policies That Work For Everyone

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"is seen as women’s work and is underpaid"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Less than a year after lawmakers struck a so-called “grand bargain” to increase minimum wages for all workers, advocates are mounting a new push to ensure tipped workers receive the same base wage as all other hourly employees. 
In all but seven states, the minimum wage for service employees who can earn gratuities — many of whom work in the restaurant industry — is lower than the standard rate. Massachusetts has one of the largest gaps in the country, with a minimum wage of $12 per hour and a minimum tipped wage of $4.35 per hour. 
The divide will persist as increases under the new law take effect and the standard minimum wage rises to $15 an hour by 2023 and the minimum tipped wage climbs to $6.75. 
Legislation re-filed last week by Sen. Patricia Jehlen and Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier would effectively eliminate the separate rate for service workers and include everyone under the larger standard minimum wage."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20190129/lawmakers-push-for-equal-pay-for-tipped-workers

For more about One Fair Wage   http://onefairwage.com/about/

For more about One Fair Wage   http://onefairwage.com/about/
For more about One Fair Wage   http://onefairwage.com/about/

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

MassBudget: Five Things to Look for in the FY2020 Budget



MassBudget  Information.
  Participation.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.
January 22, 2019






Five Things to Look for in the FY 2020 Budget
When the Governor releases his budget this week, he will kick off the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget debate. The FY 2020 budget will not only determine funding for schools, roads, parks, and other essential services, but can also move the discussion on how to raise the revenues our state needs to pay for these services.
For those following the debate, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) offers a new report, Five Things to Look for in the FY 2020 Budget.
http://massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=Five_Things_to_Look_for_in_the_FY_2020_Budget.html
"State lawmakers have a tough task this year. We have many needs - such as education funding reform and transportation improvements - but we have no significant, new revenue sources to help pay for these essentials and fix substantial holes that may develop in state revenue sources over the next couple of years," said Marie-Frances Rivera, Interim President of MassBudget. "One overarching question to consider during this year's budget cycle is whether state lawmakers propose new, progressive sources of revenue through the state budget or through independent legislation."
MassBudget: Five Things to Look for in the FY2020 Budget
An update of the outdated formula that funds our K-12 schools has been a key issue in recent months. Reform of this can come through the state budget or through separate legislation.
Another question to consider is whether the state budget will account for this year's minimum wage increase (from $11 to $12 per hour) which will benefit many low-income workers who provide care for children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Without funding from the state, providers may struggle to maintain the same level and quality of services while paying their workers the higher wage.
Undergirding the questions on spending is a question on how the state can generate adequate revenues to overcome impending shortfalls and plan for the future. The revenue forecast over FY 2019 and FY 2020 is mixed and will depend greatly on whether the state economy's decade-long upturn will slow or falter. 

Further, over the next two years, the state expects to see substantial holes develop in both tax and non-tax revenue sources - stemming from scheduled drops in the personal income tax rate and from the expiration of a roughly $260 million temporary assessment to help pay for subsidized health care. Neither the Governor nor the Legislature has yet offered specific plans that would fill those holes with new revenues.
It will be worth considering whether any proposed taxes or fees make the state's tax system more equitable - by requiring top income-earners to contribute a greater share of their incomes, closer to the share that everyone else pays.
The report also includes information to help budget watchers follow the debates. Readers can track funding recommendations in each budget proposal using MassBudget's Budget Browser.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET AND POLICY CENTER

15 COURT SQUARE, SUITE 700
BOSTON, MA 02108


Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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Friday, December 28, 2018

MassBudget: Minimum wage increase to $12 will benefit 662,000 workers



MassBudget  Information.
  Participation.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.
December 26, 2018

Minimum wage increase to $12 will benefit 662,000 workers



In response to a multi-year grassroots campaign, Massachusetts lawmakers this year made a significant move toward ensuring workers can earn enough to support their families - by raising the Massachusetts minimum wage from $11 an hour to $15 by 2023. January 2019 will mark the first step in this progression, when the state's minimum wage goes from $11 to $12.
This increase will affect 15 percent of Massachusetts working parents and 19 percent of children in the state, according to a new Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) analysis

http://massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=Impact-of-$12-Massachusetts-Minimum-Wage.html.

Minimum wage increase to $12 will benefit 662,000 workers
The increase will give a raise to the majority of food service workers (68 percent) and about a third of workers in human services - which include those who work in child welfare, disability services, and elder services. The increase will boost the wages of more than a third of Hispanic/Latinx workers, 29 percent of Black/African American workers, and 18 percent of White workers.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET AND POLICY CENTER
15 COURT SQUARE, SUITE 700
BOSTON, MA 02108


Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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Monday, September 3, 2018

MassBudget: For Labor Day, a look at state policies that work for workers



MassBudget  Information.
  Participation.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.







$15 minimum wage, paid leave help Massachusetts workers

MassBudget Labor Day report offers state policy options for the future

This year, Massachusetts took steps toward enabling working people to earn enough to support themselves and their families. Some recently-passed policies - a $15 minimum wage, a Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, and an increase of the state's Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 30 percent of the federal credit - can help improve the lives and working conditions of people across the state.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's new report, Keeping Massachusetts Working for Workers: Policy Gains in 2018 and Possibilities Beyond, reviews the state's advances in 2018 and explores how it can further improve workers' conditions through policy.
Massachusetts is the third state to pass a $15 minimum hourly wage and the seventh state to create a PFML program. In concert with these, the increase of the state EITC match can help thousands of low-income working families make ends meet.
But many workers continue to deal with unpredictable schedules and employers who don't pay them the wages they are due, among other issues. This report offers a menu of state-level policy options that can have the widest impact on Massachusetts workers.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET AND POLICY CENTER

15 COURT SQUARE, SUITE 700
BOSTON, MA 02108


Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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