Tipped workers want wage increase

BOSTON (WWLP) – Employees who earn their pay from tips say that they need a raise.

The state tipped minimum wage has been the same since George W. Bush was president. With the cost of living becoming more expensive, tipped workers say they need to see their hourly wages rise.

There are more than 120,000 workers who live off tips in Massachusetts, and a majority of them work in the restaurant industry. With the state tipped minimum wage at $2.63, these employees make, on average, about $9.00 an hour including tips, and less than $20,000 a year for a full-time employee.

Busboys and waitresses from across the state say that it has been unstable and a struggle, and they need a raise.

“People don’t understand that we don’t get enough money, and when they say ‘it’s a good day,’ ‘it’s a good night,’ ‘it’s a weekend,’ and well, other days are really bad. The beginning of the week is really slow that we have to compensate the money we make on the weekends,” tipped worker Deraldo Nino said.

The group “Raise Up Massachusetts” wants to let voters decide through a ballot initiative that would increase tipped minimum wage to $4.15 per hour by next year. The group also wants to tie wages to the cost of living.

Some business leaders voiced support, saying increasing the minimum wage will allow people to spend more money and lead to a better economy.

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