Cuomo increases Basic Minimum Wage for NY State Workers to $15 an hour

By Money Times

Nov 13, 2015 12:43 AM EST

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday that he would increase minimum wage to $15 for all state workers in New York.

According to The New York Times this minimum wage hike makes the New York the first state to put the pay this high for the public employees. This brings wages of state employees in New York so much higher compared to other states. Cuomo could be setting a good precedence with this move that could inspire national movement to solve the problem in stagnant pay. Cuomo used executive authority to gradually increased New York City state workers' hourly rate to $15 by the end of 2018. State workers outside the city will also experience wage hikes gradually and would get to $15 an hour by the end of 2021. There will be about 10,000, which is 6.5 percent of the work force in the state that would get a wage hike.

The New York Times reported that the basic minimum wage in New York is currently $8.75 and will increase to $9 before the end of 2015. 9,000 more employees upstate will also experience wage hikes after three years.  Cuomo's announcement made Letitia A. James, city's public advocate, to call for a $15 minimum wage for the city employees. 

"This is the anger at the economic injustice, where the top 1% in this society have had 95% of the income growth, and the bottom third is going backwards," said Mr. Cuomo, who is a Democrat in his second term, in a report by the Wall Street Journal. "We made a decision a long time ago that if you worked full time, you should have a decent lifestyle for you and your family."

This move wouldn't go smoothly without oppositions. The Business Council of New York State does not agree with the executive order. Business-advocacy group communications director Zack Hutchins said the increase in minimum wage is "too much, too quickly," and that it would ultimately hurt the economy of New York. He also criticized Cuomo for acting unilaterally. 

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