A Labor Day message from CSEA President Danny Donohue
Raising the wages of undervalued workers means a better New York for all
ALBANY, NY (09/01/2015)(readMedia)-- "A rising tide lifts all boats." This has long been a cornerstone reason for labor's commitment to improving working conditions for union members and all working people. There is ample evidence that the rising tide is good for individuals, families, communities, business and our economy as a whole. When people share in prosperity, it's good for everyone in a lot of different ways.
Recently, fast food workers, with significant help from Labor and other community allies mounted an impressive campaign for fairness and respect. They did a great job making their case and convinced Gov. Andrew Cuomo's wage board that a raise is in order. They deserve it, but so do a whole lot of other undervalued workers, including many working in public service.
Governor Cuomo has stated repeatedly that income inequality, which plagues New York more than any other state, is a serious problem that must be addressed. I give the governor the benefit of the doubt that the actions of his wage board were not simply an isolated political stunt.
The governor doesn't need a wage board to make a bigger dent in this economic injustice. Leading by example would be a good starting place:
- Raise the wages of state workers making federal minimum wage because they aren't included under state minimum wage law.
- Address the state's scandalous disregard of low-wage human services employees of not-for-profit agencies under state contract, who received a cost-of-living increase this year after enduring years without one.
These actions don't even begin to address the needs of child care providers or the thousands of undervalued state, local government and school employees - many work for much less than $15 per hour - who take care of our kids, maintain our roads, water and sewer systems and do a whole lot more necessary work.
You can be sure that CSEA will be pursuing fair pay in every way possible because it is not only good for our members, but it will help build a better New York for all.