Address Wage Gap of State Workforce

July 27, 2015
By CSEA President Danny Donohue

Danny Donohue

Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on recommendations of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's wage board

Albany, NY — Congratulations to the fast food workers for their brave fight that goes to the very heart of the income inequality that plagues New York more than any other state. It showed the determination of all low-wage workers looking to earn a decent wage for themselves and their families.

Now is the time to do more to address this rampant problem. I give Governor Andrew Cuomo the benefit of the doubt that this wage board wasn't just an isolated political stunt to score some cheap points. There are some meaningful actions he can take on his own right now to close the wage gap and benefit low wage workers, starting with his own state work force and the neglected workers of not-for-profit agencies funded by the state:

Raise the wages of state workers making federal minimum wage because they aren't included under state minimum wage by law.

Address the state's scandalous disregard of low-wage human services employees of not-for-profit agencies under state contract who received a cost-of-living increase this year after enduring years without one.

These actions don't even begin to address the needs of child care providers or the thousands of undervalued local government and school employees – many work for much less than $15 per hour -who take care of our kids, maintain our roads, water and sewer systems and do a whole lot more necessary work. Leading by example would be a good starting place.

Let's be clear, the governor doesn't need a wage board to make a bigger dent in this enormous problem and show he's really serious about income inequality."


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