ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)— Governor Kathy Hochul wants to peg minimum wage to inflation. This proposal is something AFL-CIO, a federation of unions, supports.
“We know that overtime the cost-of-living increases so purchasing power decreases, and as a result from year to year minimum wage earners, find it much more difficult to support themselves and their families,” said Mario Cilento, President of the Union Movement in New York
Cilento said this would be beneficial to all New Yorkers, not just those who make minimum wage.
“When we have a stimulated economy like this and we have the lowest wage earners contributing to our economy, it allows us to have more tax dollars to pay for health care, education, transportation, sanitation, so really all 20 million New Yorkers can benefit by raising the minimum wage and index it.”
However, not everyone is totally on board.
“We have a problem with that because consumer price index goes up as inflation rises, and if you pegged an increase in minimum wage to that, wages would go up that would cause inflation. And as inflation goes up, that would cause the minimum wage to go up. As inflation rises unfortunately, that lessens the value of the dollar so we are decreasing value of any increase in the minimum wage. Ultimately we think a better way of indexing— if you want to index, would be should be personal income that doesn’t rise necessarily as inflation increases,” said Will Barclay, Assembly Minority Leader.
As budget negotiations continue, it’s unclear at this point what exactly will be included in the final state budget.
“I know everyone is talking about it,” said Cilento. “We’ve had conversations with the governor, with both leaders of both houses and talks are progressing.”