De Blasio Expands Living Wage

The idea of better pay for hard work became a reality for thousands of  New Yorkers with the flick of pen.  Mayor Bill de Blasio stood in St. Mary’s Park in the South Bronx, surrounded by politicians, and signed an executive order that expands the living wage to employees of  commercial tenants on projects that get economic development subsidies of $1 million dollars or more.

The order includes retailers and other companies that lease space in subsidized developments.

Workers who do not get benefits, like health insurance, will see their pay rise from $10.10 an hour to $13.13. Those with benefits will see an increase from $10.30 to $11.50. It’s expected that as many as 18,000 people will benefit over the next five years.

The expansion means that 4100 people who work in retail and fast-food businesses will get a pay bump.

The city enacted the living wage law in 2012, but it only covered about 1200 jobs. Retailers and fast food operations in city subsidized developments got a pass from paying the higher wage. The executive order changes that.

Labor Secretary Tom PerezU.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, whose mother grew up in Washington Heights, stood with the mayor and praised him for leading the effort to raise wages. Perez said, “Americans deserve a raise.” But he added, “Some in the Republican leadership in Congress haven’t quite gotten the memo.” Perez blamed Republicans for blocking President Obama’s efforts to raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. The last hike in the minimum wage came five years ago.
In the meantime, 13 states raised their minimum wage and 20 local governments did the same.
Mayor de Blasio wants to expand the minimum wage to all New York City employees, but needs approval from political leaders in Albany.  That’s why he’s campaigning for like-minded Democrats to win the majority in the state senate in the upcoming election.
So stay tuned for more about wages.








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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.