Issues & Campaigns

Minimum Wage and Earned Sick Time

RAISE UP MASSACHUSETTS SPRING 2014 UPDATE:

As part of the signature gathering process, initiatives are required to gather a second set of sigantures. The campaign's goal is 60,000 and we are on track to gather this amount. Here in Brockton, we were asked to gather 3,000 sigantures. As of June 11, we have gathered 3,621 signatures! 

RAISE UP MASSACHUSETTS CAMPAIGN: History

Today, in an economy where businesses value profits over people, people have become expendable. Many of our state's residents work at jobs that pay low wages and offer little to no benefits. The current minimum wage and earned sick time campaign is rooted in the belief that every worker has the right to a dignified job and to care for himself or herself and family memmbers when he or she is sick. 

When the minimum wage does not increase from year to year, but the price of goods and the cost of living do increase, low wage workers struggle to afford the basic necessities. The minimum wage in Massachusetts has been suck at $8 an hour since 2008, yet costs keep rising and workers are long overdue for a raise.

In 1968 the minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, had a value of $10.72 and a full time minimum wage worker earned about $22,000. Today, they earn less than $16,700. This means, for a family, they are living in poverty. Local research shows that 25 percent of workers in the greater Brockton area earn $11 or less an hour. Increasing the minimum wage to $10.50 would bring $13 million in additional spendable wages into the local economy. 

RAISE UP MASSACHUSETTS & BIC PARTNERSHIP

This fall, BIC has partnered with faith based organizing groups around the state for the Raise Up Massachusetts campaign. Under this proposal, workers would earn 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours a year, so that they don't have to risk losing their jobs to care for themselves or their families. The minimum wage would be raised to $10.50 over a two year period and be indexed to keep pace with inflation and the changed cost of living. As a coalition, we gathered over 250,000 signatures in fall of 2013 and BIC contributed 12,269 to that total! Currently the campaign is on track to gather the 60,000 signatures required in the second gathering period. If we are successful, we will officially be on the November 2014 ballot! This fall will be filled with civic engagement work and voter engagement around these initiatives.

Congregational leaders gather on September 9, 2013 to plan for our signature gathering campaign.