2004-07-23 / Community

Pheffer: Minimum Wage Battle Pays Off

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has announced that a major agreement has been reached between the Assembly and Senate to increase the state’s minimum wage to $7.15.

“Year after year, The Assembly has fought to increase the state’s woefully inadequate minimum wage – currently just $5.15 per hour. Hard-working New Yorkers have struggled for years to make ends meet on the existing minimum wage,” said Pheffer. “After years of pressure, the Senate has finally come to the table to do what’s right.”

The phase-in legislation will increase the state minimum wage to $6.00 per hour on January 1, 2005; $6.75 per hour on January 1, 2006; and $7.15 per hour on January 1, 2007.

Food service workers receiving tips will also receive yearly wage increases. The tip minimum wage will climb to $3.85 per hour on January 1, 2005; $4.35 on January 1, 2006; and $4.60 on January 1, 2007. Pheffer praised the leadership of Assembly Ways and Means Committee Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. and Labor Committee Chair Susan John in reaching agreement. In 2003 a year-round minimum wage worker earned $10,712 or only 72.3 percent of the annual income needed to keep a family of three out of poverty. In addition, while women account for less than half of New York State’s workforce, they make up more than 60 percent of workers earning less than $7.15 per hour.

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