SEIU 1199 Our Maryland Progressive Maryland Maryland Working Families State Innovation Exchange – Maryland National Employment Law Project (list of endorsers in formation)
Find Full PDF here: Maryland Workers’ Agenda 8.3.2018
While Maryland’s economy is strong for high-income earners, working families across the state are still struggling. Paychecks for average Marylanders have been flat, leaving families squeezed as housing and living costs rise. Too many families cannot afford to take time off upon the birth of a child or when a loved one is ill – or risk losing their jobs if they do. And Washington’s attacks on unions are leaving workers vulnerable and threatening their ability to join together to push for better jobs and fair treatment. The legislature made important strides this year by passing paid sick days legislation and protections for public employees. This coming year Maryland’s new governor and legislature should continue that progress by raising wages, guaranteeing paid family leave and continuing to defend the state’s workers and unions.
- A Clean $15 Minimum Wage
- Preserves the option for communities to raise the wage higher in the future – Some Maryland communities such as the D.C. suburbs have some of the highest housing costs in the United States. For years they have been successfully implementing minimum wages higher than the state level that better match their higher costs of living. Any $15 minimum wage package must preserve this power for counties and cities to go higher than the state wage in the future – the way states like Minnesota, Illinois, California, Washington State and Arizona have done – and must fight corporate lobbyists’ push to “preempt” local power to take progressive action.
- Includes younger workers – While they are a relatively small portion of workers earning less than $15 an hour, younger workers such as 18 and 19 year olds need a $15 minimum too. They are disproportionately from low-income households and help contribute to their families. In Baltimore, for example, census data shows that the average low-wage worker who would benefit from a $15 minimum wage would contribute over half (54.6 percent) of their entire family’s income. In addition, about half of young workers are struggling to work their way through college with spiraling debt. Workers under twenty need to be included in a Clean $15 minimum wage package and can’t be left behind as some corporate lobbyists have called for.
- Includes tipped workers – Currently in Maryland tipped workers can be paid just $3.63 an hour, and forced to survive mostly on tips. The last time the state raised the minimum wage, it made the situation worse by freezing the tipped wage at that rate (before that it had been 50% of the state’s full minimum wage). The next minimum wage increase should include an increase for tipped workers to protect them against the instability of living on tips.
- Paid Family Leave for All Workers
- Defend Maryland’s Workers and Unions Against the Trump Administration’s War on Workers