Unified Action – March 2013 – Raise the Minimum Wage

Sarah Nolan, executive director of CAFé (New Mexico Communities in Action and Faith) presented the February unified action, asking for support of raising the minimum wage and explaining that raising the wage from $7.50 to $8.50 would add 67 million in consumer spending and create 600 new jobs in New Mexico.

For more information about the minimum wage and economic justice send e-mail to Sarah, call her at 575-520-1624, and visit the CAFé Web site. For detailed information about the February unified action, send e-mail to Cheryl Frank.

The Issue

SB416 (Raise Minimum Wage, sponsored by Senator Richard Martinez) is moving through the New Mexico legislature right now. Two amendments were added to the bill. The first amendment  would exempt businesses with 11 employees or fewer. The second amendment would exempt trainees for one year. There is much controversy about this issue. The Senators need to hear from us that raising the minimum wage will be good for New Mexicans.

New Mexico Minimum Wage Fact Sheet

“Hard Work Deserves Fair Pay”

What the Proposal Will Do: The proposed minimum wage increase would mirror the increase recently approved by 66% of Albuquerque voters, raising the minimum wage $1 to $8.50. Tipped workers are part of a separate piece of legislation and are not included in SB 416.

Increasing the minimum wage will help rebuild an economy that works for all of us. It will generate $67 million in new consumer spending and create 590 new jobs.

The wage increase will make local businesses more competitive and level the playing field by requiring their out-of-state, low-wage, chain competitors to pay higher wages. These corporations give their CEOs bigger bonuses every year, and then claim they can’t afford to pay their workers a fair wage.

The wage increase will benefit 147,000 workers, giving New Mexicans who make $15,000/year a raise of up to $2,000. New Mexicans who work hard and play by the rules, should be paid enough to live off of their wages.

What does $40.00 a week mean to a New Mexico family? The average cost of household groceries in New Mexico is estimated to be $370 per month. A raise of $1.00 per hour would amount to approximately half of that monthly cost.

Most importantly, it will reward hard work with fair pay. The hardest working New Mexicans have not seen an increase in the minimum wage since 2009, even as the cost of gas, milk, and everything else has gone up.  92% of minimum wage earners are adults, so increasing the minimum wage helps parents take better care of their families.

It is wildly popular. The Albuquerque ballot initiative received 66% of the vote in November, collecting more votes than President Obama or any other candidate.  A statewide poll conducted in December showed that 79% of New Mexicans support the increase to $8.50.

Links: Capital Report New Mexico
New Mexico Voices for Children

What we are asking

Call your State Senator and the following Senators:
Sen. Phil Griego              505-986-4513
Sen. Clemente Sanchez  505-986-4369
Sen. John Sapien             505-986-4834
Sen. Michael Padilla        505-986-4380
Sen. Mary Kay Papen     505-986-4733
Say: I support raising the minimum wage to strengthen ALL worker pay. I want the Senator to vote YES on SB 416 with the amendments removed.

If you can, please also show your support for this issue at the Las Cruces City Council meeting:

City Council Resolution to support raising the wage
Monday March 4, 2013, 1 p.m.

Upon completion of this action, please email unified action at pva-nm.org to tell us “I did it!”

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