$15 Min Wage and Paid Family Medical Leave Signed into Law!
Raise Up Mass Action Coalition Statement
On June 28th Governor Baker signed into law the $15 Minimum Wage Law and the Paid Family Medical Leave law that we worked so hard with our colleagues in Raise UP MA to get passed.
This only happened because we gathered 360,000 signatures of voters last fall and this spring, and the countless meetings we had with legislators. Without this, these huge wins would never, never, never have happened. TOGETHER WE DID IT! WE HAVE ENABLED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE in MA to HAVE MORE OPPORTUNITY AND SECURITY IN THEIR LIVES!!
This will help 840,000 low wage earners get $2.75 Billion (yes Billion!) in wage increases over 5 years.
The Paid Family Medical Leave law will enable almost all workers in MA… many millions…to get 20 weeks of paid time off for serious illness or injury to themselves and up to 12 weeks to care for a family member with such illness or injury who needs their care. Also covers maternity, paternity, and military leave.
The Paid Family Medical Leave is the strongest in the country and overall our new Massachusetts law is even better than the $15 Wage laws in CA and NY in several areas. Our Raise Up statement is at the bottom of this email.
State House News Service said of our efforts: “Raise Up has established itself as a force on Beacon Hill, having successfully fought for the last minimum wage increase, an earned sick time law and now having likely secured another minimum wage increase and the establishment of a paid leave program. The coalition also succeeded in convincing House Speaker Robert DeLeo that another minimum wage increase was necessary on the heels of the boost approved in 2014.”
The members of the Raise Up Mass Coalition (including UU Mass Action) are deeply disappointed by the phase out of time-and-a-half wages on Sunday and holidays for retail workers and the amount of the tipped worker increase. We are deeply motivated to fight for new state revenue since the Millionaires Tax is off the ballot. These are all issues to consider for work in 2019.
“Today, Raise Up Massachusetts’ grassroots committee voted that we will not take our minimum wage question to the ballot if the Governor signs the legislation passed last week.
“We’ve won the Fight for $15, and we’ve won the fight to ensure that workers can take job-protected paid time off from work to take care of themselves or a family member after a medical emergency or the birth or adoption of a new child. We also beat back proposals to create a teen sub-minimum wage that would hurt young workers’ ability to help support their family budgets or save for college.
“We are profoundly disappointed that the Legislature conceded to the corporate agenda and decided to eliminate Sunday and holiday time-and-a-half pay, cutting wages for thousands of retail workers who are working on Sundays and holiday to pay their bills. We are troubled by the inadequate increase in the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers that will leave too many workers facing financial uncertainty, and leaving them vulnerable to harassment, discrimination, and wage theft. We are also seriously concerned that the minimum wage legislation will not cover all workers, including some public employees. Though the Legislature calls this a ‘bargain,’ our coalition opposes these aspects of the bill that the Legislature unilaterally passed last week.
“Since Raise Up Massachusetts came together in 2013, we have nearly doubled wages for hundreds of thousands of working people, won best-in-the-nation benefits for workers and their families, and started to build an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the top. These victories belong to the thousands of labor, community, and faith-based activists who worked to qualify our questions for the ballot.
“We will continue fighting for the retail and grocery workers, tipped workers, and municipal workers who were left behind by the Legislature in this bill. We will continue to do this work until every worker in Massachusetts has a livable wage, family-supporting benefits, and a transportation and education system that lifts people up, funded by the wealthy paying their fair share. We’re not willing to wait to win the gains that Massachusetts workers need. We are only getting started.”