28/4/2015 0 Comments
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The New York State Restaurant Association is accusing state Acting Labor Commissioner Mario Musolino of "rubberstamping" the minimum wage increase for waiters and waitresses.
Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the association, said that nearly 1,000 representatives of the hospitality industry asked Musolino and the wage board to phase in a moderate wage increase over time. Instead, the wage board recommended, and Musolino approved, a 50 percent increase to be phased in by the end of this year.
"By rubberstamping an extreme, unprecedented 50 percent increase it becomes hard to believe New York is really 'Open for Business'," Fleischut said.
The state will increase its tipped minimum wage from $5 and hour to $7.50 an hour. That's still well below the state's current minimum wage of $8.75 an hour. Regular minimum wage will increase to $9 and the end of the year.
There are more than 200,000 tipped minimum wage workers in New York whose base pay will increase. The median income for waiters and waitresses in New York is $19,103.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and labor groups praised the decision. Cuomo also used it as an opportunity to push for increasing the standard minimum wage to $10.50.
"No one who works a full time job should be forced to live in poverty, and that is why we must also increase the state's minimum wage, not just for tipped workers but for all hard-working New Yorkers and we must do it this year," Cuomo said.
The founder of ROC United, a group that has been pushing for the tipped-minimum wage increase in New York, said the increased wage is a victory.
"Although ROC will continue to fight for One Fair Wage, we are thrilled that New York State will have the ninth-highest state wage for tipped workers in the country with $7.50 an hour," said Saru Jayaraman, of ROC United. The group works on behalf of restaurant workers across the nation for better pay and working conditions.