Living Wage Proposal

Sponsor: Jed Stamas, Pioneer Valley Chapter, jstamas at gmail dot com Co-sponsor: seeking Introduced March 9, 2019 Vetting Sought: Platform, CDLC, LegisComm, Adcom Background: As of Jan. 1, 2019, Massachusetts minimum wage law sets the minimum wage for non-tipped workers at $12.00/hour, and for tipped workers at $4.35/hour. Under current law, the non-tipped minimum wage will be increased in steps of +$0.75/hour yearly, until reaching $15.00/hour on Jan. 1, 2023. The tipped minimum wage will reach $6.75 on Jan.1, 2023, increased in steps of +$0.60/hour yearly. Summary: The Green-Rainbow party believes all workers deserve a living wage. We are concerned that when these yearly minimum wage increases are implemented, some workers are being left behind. These workers deserve wage increases as well. For example, consider two workers with the same job, one who makes $12.00/hour (person A), and another worker who has already received an experience-based raise to $12.75/hour (person B). On Jan. 1, 2020, person A's wage will be raised to $12.75/hour. But under current law, employers are under no obligation to raise worker B's wage, effectively eliminating their hard-earned raise. We propose that current law be amended to include +$0.75/hour wage increases for all workers earning less than $14.25/hour on Jan. 1 of each year. Under our proposal, person B's minimum wage would increase to $13.50/hour on Jan. 1, 2020, to $14.25/hour on Jan. 1, 2021, and reach $15.00/hour on Jan. 1, 2022. All tipped employees receiving less than $6.75/hour would receive +$0.60/hour yearly wage increases, up to $6.75/hour. Cost: No cost to the GRP. Implementation: CommComm will explain this in a blog entry and quarter-sheet handout. CDLC will review the laws proposed.

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  • Charlene Dicalogero
    commented 2019-04-06 23:54:44 -0400
    First, I apologize—I did not see this proposal requested vetting by the CDLC. We did not, therefore, discuss it.
    My personal response: I think any wage proposal should account for what it actually costs to live in most of MA. I’d like to see us 1) demand a minimum wage that is a living wage of $21/hour, tipped and non-tipped (tipping comes from a history of anti-Black racism and should be abolished in favor of the same base starting living wage for all). 2) If the difference between workers is 75 cents per hour, that “hard earned wage” difference is pretty meaningless until all full-time wage-earners are getting a living wage. 3) instead of arguing over whether people who are slightly above the sub-living wage needing to stay ahead of the people who are at the legal “bottom,” let’s propose a maximum compensation for company executives; a compensation scale that ensures that the top person earns no more than 10 or 20 times what the bottom earner gets; and promote profit-sharing for all employees where there is a profit (as opposed to a nonprofit).
  • David Rolde
    commented 2019-04-01 15:06:04 -0400
    I agree with Danny and Josh and Elie’s critiques of this proposal. I do admire Jed for proposing this. I am glad that Statecom will finally be considering proposals about real political issues even if the specific proposals aren’t good. At least we are going in the right direction talking about issues and not only discussing our internal bureaucracy. It would be cool for GRP to propose some legislation to require people in Massachusetts to be given money that they need and deserve. But this is not the right legislation. This proposal is not very radical or transformative and would not distinguish us from the so-called major parties. If this were one of very few pieces of legislation that would be identified with GRP, I don’t think it would inspire people to join GRP. And it is offensive because the proposal is called “living wage” but it does not call for an actual living wage.
  • David Rolde
    tagged this with Bad 2019-04-01 15:06:03 -0400
  • Joshua Gerloff
    commented 2019-03-26 11:19:42 -0400
    I concur with Elie and Danny. I believe the gradual increase is a slap in the face to people who need a living wage now. What is the predicted living wage of 2023? If an immediate change to the minimum wage were to be implemented today, $15/hr would still be too little too late.
  • Joshua Gerloff
    tagged this with Bad 2019-03-26 11:19:41 -0400
  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2019-03-17 17:03:06 -0400
    The proposal is argumentative and poorly framed. It mimics DP legislation designed to impose a minimum wage independently of conditions of employment, in a system of wage slavery. This has been used to destroy co-operative enterprises that treat all workers as employers or employees. The labor market is an aspect of capitalism that is no longer progressive. If minimum wage is set for corporate enterprises, the gradual introduction of the increase diminishes its value to the employee. But none this corrects the steady decline in real income over the past fifty years. To support a family of two or three adults and two or three children on a single wage, real income has to correspond to what it was in 1960.
  • Elie Yarden
    tagged this with Bad 2019-03-17 17:03:05 -0400
  • Daniel Factor
    commented 2019-03-10 19:50:11 -0400
    Respectfully, and thankful for Jed’s effort, I would not vote for this proposal for two reasons:

    First, the GPUS Platform and GRP Party Agenda already call for the right of every person to a living wage. This proposal undermines what is already in our platform by suggesting that the Green Party now change its stance to support transition to $15 an hour in Massachusetts even though $15. per hour is not a living wage for most individuals in Massachusetts. The much respected MIT Living Wage Calculator, for example estimates that a living wage for many resides of Massachusetts is between $20 and $30 per hour. Yet the corporate funded media and progressive elites promote the lie that that a person in metro Boston can find adequate food, shelter, housing, health care and transportation for $30,000.00 per year, (analagous to $15/hr.) Supporting this proposal would thus be a tremendously regressive shift for our party to take, decreasing what we think average people deserve.

    Second, a GRP proposal must call for some action for the GRP to take and this proposal does not call for the GRP to take any action. On a new issue stance, for example, a GRP Proposal might call to “Change the GRP Party Agenda to state ‘The GRP Supports…” But this proposal proposes no change in our Party Agenda which would then create contradictory GRP positions: i.e. our Party Agenda would on the one hand support a living wage while our State Committee would support only a gradual increase to a sub-living wage of $15 an hour.

    For these reasons, I do not support this proposal.
  • Daniel Factor
    tagged this with Bad 2019-03-10 19:50:09 -0400
  • Jed Stamas
    commented 2019-03-09 17:06:39 -0500
    *Clarification: “We propose that current law be amended to include +$0.75/hour wage increases for all workers earning less than $14.25/hour on Jan. 1 of each year.” should be amended: “We propose that current law be amended to include +$0.75/hour wage increases for all workers earning less than or equal to $14.25/hour on Jan. 1 of each year. Workers earning over $14.25/hour and less than $15.00/hour will receive an increase to $15.00/hour on that date.”
  • Jed Stamas
    tagged this with Good 2019-03-09 17:06:37 -0500
  • Jed Stamas
    published this page in 2019 Spring Statecom Proposals 2019-03-09 16:58:05 -0500