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On this week’s Fight for $15 National Day of Action, Progressive Caucus members applauded Governor Cuomo’s minimum wage increase for New York State public sector employees. Council Members have long advocated for a living wage through legislative action for fast food workers (R. 279) and city workers (R. 198) in order to combat poverty and reduce inequality.  

WHAT PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS MEMBERS SAY: 

“As the Fight for $15 wages on, we need to make every effort to support all workers as we seek to ensure New Yorkers earn a legitimate living wage,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, co-chair of the Caucus. “The Governor’s new wage standard is a step in the right direction as we work to solidify an economically bright future for families and our city.”

“Increased pay for workers in the fast food industry and the public sector are great steps for the Fight for $15 for all.  As cost-of-living continues to rise in New York City, we need to ensure that working New Yorkers can afford to support their families. As a progressive city, we need to set the tone for the rest of the country and increase the minimum wage for all,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Co-Chair of the Caucus.

“The Governor’s announcement brings us one step closer to a livable wage for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Vice-Chair of the Caucus. “I applaud Governor Cuomo for leading the way and continuing the work of the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice as we fight for a fairer and more just society.”

“New York State public employees have worked long hours for low wages for far too long. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for State workers and his work to advance the movement to give all workers fair wages,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Vice-Chair of the Caucus.

“This victory for state public employees is a piece of a larger puzzle. It must be recognized that living New York City is unlike living in any other city; we cannot not be held to the economic standards of Rochester or Syracuse when our cost of living is drastically higher,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. “With that in mind, we must demand $15 and union protections for all, not only in terms of allowing for workers to provide for their families, but also in terms of treating those workers with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

“This announcement is a major victory for workers in the fight for fair wages for all. It takes New York a step closer to living up to the promise that people who work hard every day will be able to provide for their families. Our continued progress in the ‘Fight for 15’ is proof of the power of grassroots coalitions, who have come together to demand economic justice,” said Council Member Mark Levine

“This shouldn’t even be a debate in this country. A $15 minimum wage is still not a living wage in many areas, including in New York City, which has one o the highest costs of living in the nation. While I praise the Governor for taking this step today, I hope that he will lead in getting Albany to raise the minimum wage for all New Yorkers, and finally give New York City the authority to raise the raise here,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams.

“As the salaries of fast food CEOs have quadrupled in the last 15 years, wages for fast food workers have remained stagnant. Meanwhile, we’ve watched the price of everything from eggs to rent go higher and higher. More than two-thirds of fast food workers are the main wage earners for their families,” said NYC Council Member Debi Rose. “Raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15/hour will spur economic activity while lifting working families out of poverty. I applaud Gov. Cuomo for convening this wage board, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to deliver a decent living wage to so many New Yorkers who are living near or below the poverty line.”

“For well over a century, New York has been a leader on raising working standards. Raising the wage to $15 an hour for NYS public sector workers is a noble continuation of that tradition and we must continue the fight to lift all hardworking New Yorkers out of poverty” said Council Member Corey Johnson.

“It is unconscionable that thousands of hard-working New Yorkers continue to struggle to care for their families while corporate executives reap millions of dollars in compensation. For far too long, our minimum wage has lagged behind the rising cost of food, childcare, and especially, housing,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “The workers of our city need us to act now to raise the minimum wage so that they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty. I thank Gov. Cuomo for his leadership on this issue, and I urge all of my colleagues in government to join us in this fight for dignity and fairness for working families across our city.”

“Every New Yorker deserves to be paid a living wage for their work. With prices for everyday goods and essential needs like housing on the rise, families are being forced to stretch stagnant wages just to make ends meet. I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking this much needed step to ensure that thousands of public sector workers can count on a minimum wage that reflects the cost of living in our city and our state,” said Council Member Stephen Levin.

“Governor Cuomo’s executive order is an important measure towards income equality, and I applaud his support of livable wages. No New Yorker with a full-time job should be living in poverty, struggling to support themselves and their family. We will continue to Fight for $15 for every New York City employee and fast food workers—it’s the right thing for families and for business,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, chairwoman of the Council’s Committee on Finance.

IN THE NEWS:

NY Daily News, Gov. Cuomo announces New York will get $15 an hour minimum wage

Huffington Post, Andrew Cuomo Raises New York Minimum Wage To $15 For State Workers

Newsweek, Fight for $15: Fast-Food Workers Protest for Higher Pay and Unions

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