HARRISBURG—We The People – PA campaign partners put out the following statement in response to reports of a minimum wage bill moving through the General Assembly this week (see co-signers of this statement below):
Public reports and private conversations indicate that lawmakers are having discussions about a deal on Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, which is a good thing—any step forward in increasing the minimum wage is desperately needed by the working people of Pennsylvania. But we still need to change the broader rules of our economy so that Pennsylvania’s workers truly get their fair share. So, We The People – Pennsylvania will not declare victory or stop demanding action until legislation is enacted that includes the following five principles:
- an immediate increase in the minimum wage to $12 per hour with a path to $15 per hour by 2025;
- a built-in cost-of-living increase once the minimum wage gets to $15 per hour;
- an end to the tipped minimum wage;
- the repeal of the preemption provision which prevents local municipalities and counties from raising their minimum wages above the state level; and
- strong penalties for those employers who violate minimum wage laws.
Pennsylvanians deserve better than poverty-level wages. And the Pennsylvania economy needs the shot in the arm that a higher minimum wage will bring. The experiences of every state in our region show that opponents’ scare tactics are based on faulty theories. When people have more money in their pockets due to a higher minimum wage, local spending in our communities, other workers’ wages, and employment all go up as well.
Since January 2019, the We The People – PA campaign, along with our partners in the Raise the Wage PA Coalition and CLEAR, have held dozens of rallies and other public events. Together, we’ve done more than 70 in-district meetings with legislators in every corner of the state in support of raising the minimum wage. Thousands of Pennsylvanians have joined these efforts or signed petitions in support of raising the wage.
We are grateful to Governor Wolf for embracing our principles and continuing to push for an increase in the minimum wage. We remain frustrated that Republican leaders, who control the General Assembly, have been unwilling to allow legislation that would realize our goals to come to the floor of both Houses. And, even worse, as the price for their support of a small increase in the minimum wage, they are demanding a delay in raising the threshold for overtime, pitting salaried workers and hourly workers against each other.
It’s long past time for action that encompasses the five principles outlined above.
Make The Road PA
Raise the Wage PA
Hershey Indivisible Team
ROC United PA
Philadelphia Unemployment Project
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
PA Stands Up
Put People First! PA
Women’s Law Project
Centre County Wage Justice Coalition
Unitarian Universalist PA Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPlan)
Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition
Erie County United
Beaver County United
Washington County United
MomsRising / MamasconPoder
Harrisburg Democratic Socialists of America
National Writers Union (UAW 1981)
Keystone Research Center
SEIU Pennsylvania State Council
The HUB for Progress