community-based, non-corporate, participatory media

About Contact Us Policies Mailing Lists Radio Video Publish! Calendar Search

View article without comments

Rally to Raise the Minimum Wage
by Shannon Tibbetts Friday, Jul. 01, 2005 at 12:53 PM
pittsburgh@nspnet.org (412) 682-3501 1323 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15219

On June 22, 2005, people from all over Pennsylvania gathered in Harrisburg to support pending legislation to raise the minimum wage.

Rally to Raise the M...
my_pictures.jpg, image/jpeg, 580x414

Pittsburgh, PA -- On Wednesday June 22, 2005, advocates from all over the state attended a lobby day and rally in Harrisburg to convince lawmakers to pass legislation that would raise the minimum wage. Members of local Pittsburgh organizations such as National Student Partnerships (NSP), ACORN, and Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, were present to show their support for increasing the current minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.

NSP volunteer Megan Smith says, “The clients that I see on a daily basis depend on a livable wage as their only hope toward a better future. Clients not only come to us for employment assistance, but they also come to us for assistance with resources such as food, clothing, and housing, because these are extremely difficult to afford on their own if the jobs they obtain do not pay enough money. That's why we need to rally and push our legislators!”

Speakers including State Senators, State Representatives, and the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania contended that the present minimum wage is not nearly enough to support one person, let alone a family, and it has been too low for too long. The minimum wage has not been increased since 1997. Raising it would affect
thousands of workers, as well as many workers who are paid just above that amount. Other speakers revealed how the wage hike would be an economic stimulus because people would put their earnings back into circulation by consuming goods and services.

The House bill sponsored by Representative Mark Cohen would raise the minimum wage to $7.15 by January 2007 and would include cost of living adjustments. The Senate bill sponsored by Senator Tina Tartaglione would raise the minimum wage to $7 by June 30, 2007. The surrounding states of Delaware, New Jersey, and New York have already passed similar bills.


National Student Partnerships (NSP) is the nation’s only year-round, student-led volunteer service organization that links people in need with the resources and opportunities necessary to become self-sufficient. Founded by college undergraduates in 1998, NSP operates a national network of drop-in resource centers, staffed by student volunteers from area colleges and universities. Working one-on-one with low-income community members (clients), NSP Pittsburgh volunteers provide intensive on-site and referral services, which enable clients to achieve their goals. In Pennsylvania, NSP has an office in Pittsburgh and three in Philadelphia.

For additional information on National Student Partnerships contact Shannon Tibbetts at (412) 682-3501 or pittsburgh@nspnet.org and visit http://www.nspnet.org.

add your comments


7.15 is too damn high
by Janus Christ Ashley Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005 at 8:59 PM

From the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania newsletter:

Governor Rendell recently told reporters that he would demand a minimum-wage increase from lawmakers in exchange for endorsing a legislative pay raise. Rendell favors boosting Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $7.15 an hour.

Our legislators are already among the highest paid in the country and their performance does not warrant a pay raise. Rendell compounds the damage to Pennsylvanians by using the pay raise as a hammer to pound through a minimum wage increase that will hurt Pennsylvania’s economy and poor.

How does a minimum wage increase damage our economy and hurt the poor?

First, minimum wage increases destroy jobs. Unless a business creates additional revenue to cover the enlarged salary expenses, the business must spread their work among fewer workers. Companies are thus pushed to inhibit hiring and potentially eliminate existing jobs. Teenagers and others seeking initial job experience that will allow them a first step onto the economic ladder are usually the ones impacted.

A study in 2004 by Duke University supports this claim. The study found that increases in the minimum wage decrease job prospects and increase the number of unemployed minimum wage workers.

Second, minimum wages limit businesses and workers economic freedom. As Doug Leard, Media Relations Director of the Libertarian Party explained, “when I first started working, I was willing to work below minimum wage to get established in my field of interest. Once in, I was confident I could work my way up the ladder. Increasing the minimum wage makes it harder to get that first step onto the success ladder.” This sentiment is supported by a study of economists at Florida State University and Miami University of Ohio that found that full-time workers hired at the minimum wage received a median pay increase of 13 percent within their first year.

A minimum wage increase hurts the poor by destroying jobs and providing workers with less employment options. Rendell’s proposal is bad for Pennsylvania!

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States with over 600 officials serving in office throughout the nation. Please visit http://www.LP.org or http://www.LPPA.org for more information on the Libertarian Party.

add your comments


No minimum wage increase
by small business owner Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006 at 9:46 AM

I am a small business owner who primarily employees high school students. I wish people who are backing the min. wage increase would realize that in order to cover the increased payroll expenses that this increase would cause, businesses are going to have to raise prices. Therefore, the extra money people are making is going to be offset by increased prices for things they need to buy. Its all relative. I think it would be more fair to have a student wage, which would be lower than the minimum wage. I have employed students for at least ten years and I can tell you that the majority of them have very low math abilities. I may hire 7 to 10 new employees each year and am lucky to get 1 or 2 who know how to count money and have some commonsense. We do pay our dedicated and intelligent students $6.00 an hour, but they have to prove that they are dedicated and intelligent. The majority of them are not and therefore do not deserve to make $7.15 an hour.
Another option may be that people who make minimum wage do not pay taxes. That would increase the amount of money they have to live on. People should consider the fact that the government is more interested in the increased tax revenues that this min. wage increase would bring than in giving Pennsylvanians a "living wage". If last year, an employee worked 40 hours at $5.15, they would gross $206.00. At $7.15 an hour for 40 hours, they would gross $286.00 and pay more taxes than the previous year. Who do you think the government is trying to pay more themselves or working Pennsylvanians?

add your comments


to small business owner
by HR REP Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006 at 12:39 PM

"I may hire 7 to 10 new employees each year and am lucky to get 1 or 2 who know how to count money and have some commonsense."

Sounds like you need to be a little more selective about who you hire. You probably should have figured out if they could count money before you offered them a job. But obviously, cheap labor is more important to you than the quality of your workers.

add your comments


Wages?
by Your mom Monday, Mar. 03, 2008 at 4:42 AM

What would you know about wages you cannot even keep a job!?

add your comments


© 2001-2009 Pittsburgh Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not endorsed by the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center.
Disclaimer | Privacy