APRIL 4, 2016: This morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made history by signing legislation enacting a statewide $15 minimum wage plan, which will dramatically impact the nation-wide Fight for $15 movement. This law ensures a great minimum wage victory with these three major changes:
1) Many workers across New York State will, over time, see their minimum wage raised to $15/hour
2) New York City workers will see that raise by the end of 2018
3) Long Island and Westchester workers will see that raise by the end of 2021
Over the past year, Workmen’s Circle activists, as part of a coalition of Jewish organizations, have rallied alongside tenacious low-wage workers who initiated the Fight for $15 movement. We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with them.
However, we are also very concerned by this law’s bifurcation of downstate and upstate, which leaves upstate workers still struggling to survive on less than $15/hour. Retail workers in Albany, bank tellers in Yonkers, and nursing home attendants in Buffalo deserve the same minimum wage as those in Nassau, Suffolk and Rockland Counties. This law sets a dangerous national precedent that demands ongoing activism—and we’re asking you to continue the fight with us.
We believe that $15/hour is a floor and not a ceiling and we’ll continue to advocate for a minimum wage model that brings workers across this country to that floor. But we can only do it in solidarity with you. Below are our immediate campaign goals. To get involved, please feel free to email or call me any time: 212.889.6800 ext. 808.
• Partner with other groups to get $15/hour and a union for all New York State workers
• Push all states to adopt a fair minimum wage model, building on New York and California, which also announced a $15 state-wide minimum wage last week.
• Help low-wage workers organize to prevent wage theft and dangerous work conditions nationally
To learn how you can join us in the Fight for $15, contact our Social Justice Director Larry Moskowitz: LMoskowitz@circle.org.