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Minimum Wage Set to Increase in 2013

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Starting January 1, 2013 minimum wage will be raised to $8.95, $0.15 more than the current rate. Minimum wage advocates say the hike is crucial to keep the lowest tier of workers from falling behind.

“Every little bit helps,” said Jake Babcock, an employee at Papa’s Pizza.

Babcock makes $8.90 now, $0.10 more than the current minimum wage; but with the state government increasing the minimum wage rate next year, he’ll be bringing in a little extra dough.

“It’s a good incentive to keep working hard,” Babcock said.

Babcock knows he makes more than most minimum wage workers across the country.

“I have family who lives in Idaho and their minimum wage there is much lower and especially if they make tips at their jobs, they aren’t required by the state to pay the full check if they make tips,” Babcock said.

Oregon has the second highest minimum wage rate in the country, behind Washington’s rate at $9.04.

State leaders say a high minimum wage is what Oregonians wanted. In 2002, voters approved a state initiative that tied Oregon’s minimum wage with the Consumer Price Index. If the Consumer Price Index increases, so does Oregon’s minimum wage; however, if the consumer price index goes down, the wage stays even.

“It wasn’t always this way but the people in their wisdom and I think it was wisdom decided a number of years ago, that this was the way we were going to do it in Oregon,” said state representative Phil Barnhart.

The hourly, minimum wage rate is calculated before each year with an equation. The existing minimum wage is multiplied by the increase in the Consumer Price Index. The product is rounded to the nearest nickel and added to the existing minimum wage. This process makes up what labor advocates say is a livable compensation.

“We just need to make sure they are able to buy the necessities of life and that they are able to do so from local Oregon businesses,” said Brad Avakian, Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner.

“People working for the minimum wage will get paid a real wage for their work and as the economy improves. People move up and of course that will help other workers as well,” Avakian said.

Even if it’s just a step up of a few cents for some workers, they say it’s still a boost to their budget.

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  1. Leslie Newcomer says:

    on your 6 pm broadcast the man from Dairy Queen said that a 15 cent an hour increase would cost him $600 a pay period ($1200 a month) at 15 cents an hour that adds a total of $6 for a 40 hour week, or $12 per pay period, does he employ 50 full time people? or is he greatly exaggerating his costs.

  2. Lori says:

    Unfortunately everyone who’s making (or qualifies for) more than minimum wage (who lives in Oregon or Washington) is at a disadvantage because of the minimum wage increase. Also, what some people don’t realize is that the most hard-working, beneficial employees who get minimum wage could also be at a loss. Everyone making more than minimum whose wage does not enjoy the same increase will ultimately be getting a decrease in wage compared to the required minimum (and cost of living resulting from it) because their employers are not required to give them an increase in wage as well. Because of this it makes it harder for small businesses to compete.
    I work at a hotel in Portland, OR and have employees who rightfully deserve a decent salary increase due to their great performance and long lasting dedication. However, they do not get rewarded for their performance like they should because I am not able to offer the same promotions, bonuses, and wage increases anymore which I could have if the lowest genre of wage earners at my work didn’t keep getting mandatory minimum wage increases.
    If people think about how much they were making in the past or right now and then think about how much they’re/you’re making after each minimum wage increase… they/you would realize that their/your salary stays the same or decreases (especially in comparison), but the new hires and unqualified worker’s wages keep increasing even if they perform badly. In the meanwhile, the salary as well as benefits they/we receive are not able to increase anymore like they could have otherwise because of the cost increase of the bottom wage earners (many of which whom get tips that add up to way more than those who qualify for a higher wage).
    To make matters worse, the prices my company charges consumers for the services we offer have had to stay the same or decrease year over year in order to stay competitive in the market due to the economy. Larger corporations can (and not always, but sometimes will) still offer a somewhat reasonable increase for all of their workers because they can pass the expense on to their consumers or decide to take a cut in profit. Unfortunately we are not able to. We have not been making a profit the last few years, yet have in fact have been taking a huge loss in hopes that we will eventually get out of this bad economy and desperate market soon.
    We want to pay more money and offer better incentives to get or keep skilled and experienced workers/managers who could help our business succeed and grow into being profitable again someday (and rule out the chance of us going out of business). Unfortunately, the money we would have been able to offer the employees who could have potentially brought our business back on track allowing us to hire more workers and taste a glimpse of possible profit or at least a balanced approach, is not financially possible these days because of the minimum wage increase on top of the multitude of other fee increases we’re forced to agree with every year.
    I empathize with minimum wage earners wanting an increase in wage, however, and increase in wage for new hires and low level workers (sometimes illegal imigrants or young folks starting out) etc. will sometimes amount in a decrease in benefits and hours offered, and may not allow them to grow in the company or earn the wage increase deserved if they exceed their job performance expectations the way it would have otherwise.
    Also, the minimum wage earners at my work get tips and the workers who make more than minimum wage do not. Therefore, the minimum wage earners ultimately (and almost always) end up making much more than their superiors (and I’ve been told they do not report the tips in their earnings on their tax returns when they’re paid in cash so that they can still qualify for all the tax deductions and refunds associated with being a low income earner espesially when they have kids.) Luckily, everyone working for me at the minimum wage level lives with a household of atleast 2 or more other adults (with quite a few children) and receive food stamps and government assistance, etc. along with thousands of dollars in Government tax credits each year for each of their many children since they are low wage earners who claim to be a single mother although the father of their children sometimes actually live in the same household. Some of them also make sure to not work full time (even when it’s offered to them) because they want to keep their government benefits. It is not fair that the responsible workers who earn more of an hourly wage due to their contribution to the company end up making way less than the employees under them since they don’t get tips. In Oregon; tipped workers still get the minimum wage that everyone else who doesn’t get tips make… a waiter/waitress in my hotel restaurant (which has significantly low menu prices in order to be competitive with the suburban market we’re in) makes an average of $35 an hour when you include the tips with their minimum wage of $8.80 ($8.95 in 2013)… why should they qualify to get their minimum wage increased when they make so much more than that with tips and their supervisor who has better skills and keeps the restaurant afloat only gets $14 an hour or less without any tips at all.
    Where does it end? I have a payroll cap which means there are less people I can hire and less of an hourly wage I can offer to employees who make more than minimum. What once seemed like a good wage to them has decreased in value over the years and has now become a disappointment. I dread telling my best employees they can’t get a wage increase each year like the minimum wage workers do. It’s not because our business is greedy; it’s because we want to stay in business. The wages and benefits we could have offered to those who could have helped get us out of this terrible rut are now no longer a possibility unless we decide to fire some of the minimum wage earners and eliminate more of whats left of the health and vacation benefits accross the board. The cost of all of our expenses keep rising, as does the minimum wage… but when will the skilled/talented workers who keep private sector small businesses alive ever be thought of to receive the same attention and consideration? I would rather reward our employees with wage increases based on their record of success and contribution to our company’s survival and prosparity… however, I’m forced to reward the new hires, illegals, and unexperienced with an increase in wage while watching the employee moral and dedication of our top performers slowly deminish when we need them the most!

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