ALBANY, N.Y. July 22, 2015 — New York State United Teachers today said a wage board’s recommendation of a $15-an-hour minimum wage for fast food workers, to be implemented in stages, is an important step toward providing all workers — in all industries — with fair pay and a chance at the American Dream.
“We applaud the wage board for taking this important step to recognize the dignity of the work that fast food workers perform each day,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. “If you work hard in this country, you should be able to feed your own family, pay your bills and be able to climb the economic ladder and attain the American Dream. The board’s recommendation, however, is only a first step. In many other industries — including education — full-time workers have a difficult time making ends meet. We must build on the wage board’s recommendations, and recent efforts to raise wages for tipped workers, and fix the economy for all New Yorkers.”
Magee said many school paraprofessionals — including bus drivers, cafeteria workers, teachers’ aides and teaching assistants, to name a few — struggle to pay their bills and earn a living wage. “All those who work in our schools do important work. They, too, deserve fair compensation and respect on the job,” she said.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said the union has consistently supported a higher minimum wage for all workers, and indexing it for inflation. “We need to lift low-wage workers out of poverty and strengthen the middle class,” he said. “This recommendation is a key step in that direction.”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.