BOSTON (WWLP) – New Year, new minimum wage.
Massachusetts businesses, large and small, are getting ready to give hourly employees a $1 raise to $11 an hour on Sunday. This is the last of three $1 increases approved by state lawmakers in 2014. Second Assistant Majority Leader state Representative Paul Donato (D-Medford) wants to see the minimum wage go even higher.
He said, “It’s an important aspect for those who are trying to live in today’s economy and you know, even at $15 an hour it becomes very difficult.”
Community and labor groups are calling on state lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over several years.
The coalition “Raise Up Massachusetts” estimates that the pay raise would impact nearly 500,000 low wage workers. West Springfield state Representative Michael Finn told 22News he supports a higher minimum wage, just not so soon.
“From a practical point of view, I think that it’s important that we let the businesses absorb the increases that have been coming over the past few years and just take an assessment of where we are,” said Rep. Finn.
Tipped workers who receive more than $20 a month in tips will also get a New Year’s raise. They must be paid at least $3.75 per hour.
Massachusetts is joining states like California and New York in the campaign for legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.