Mayor de Blasio Signs Executive Order to Increase Living Wage and Expand it to Thousands More Workers

September 30, 2014

Video available at: http://youtu.be/GbP47IFnGn8

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Order raises City’s living wage immediately to $13.13 per hour, expected to exceed $15 by 2019

Lowest-wage workers will see pay increase from $16,640 to $27,310 per year

Workers at retailers and fast-food chains at City-backed projects will now earn a living wage

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed an executive order enacting a sweeping expansion of New York City’s Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act. Effective immediately, commercial tenants at projects that receive more than $1 million in City subsidy will be covered by Living Wage provisions, and the Living Wage itself will be raised to from $11.90 to $13.13 per hour—likely reaching $15.22 per hour by 2019.

Increasing and expanding the Living Wage law is part of a comprehensive approach the de Blasio administration has undertaken to tackle income inequality, including expanding paid sick leave to a half-million more workers, creating new workforce development programs that help workers attain skills to compete for good-paying jobs, and securing local control of the minimum wage from Albany. The new living wage matches the contours of a higher local minimum wage that a broad coalition is working to secure the authority from Albany to implement next year.

“We are raising the floor for working families struggling to get by. With this order, thousands of breadwinners working at projects that will be supported by taxpayers will earn higher wages and be more likely to receive the kind of benefits critical to supporting a family. And this is just one of many steps we’re taking on this front. From today’s executive order to the expansion of paid sick leave to our overhaul of workforce development, we are working to lift up working people and confront inequality,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for raising wages for thousands of New Yorkers who are working hard every day to make ends meet,” said US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. Since President Obama first called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage, 13 states, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Diego and other cities have acted to boost wages for those at the bottom of the income ladder. Too many low-wage workers around the country face difficult choices every day: Do we buy a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas? Do we pay the utility bill this month or buy school supplies? Raising the minimum wage would put more money in their pockets, giving them a little more breathing room and peace of mind.”

“Mayor de Blasio is taking a strong and significant step by increasing wages for workers on public projects—a law that ensures government contractors are paid similar wages to those earned in the private sector,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “The Mayor is also sending a clear signal to Albany: it’s long past time for all of our workers to receive a decent, living wage. Workers in our state are under siege, as my office has seen time and again in cases of workers cheated out of the wages they deserve. The least we can do is guarantee a decent wage, and ensure that no one who works 40 hours a week has to live in poverty.”

“The Assembly Democratic Majority has long championed an increase in the minimum wage as part of the ladder to the middle class for tens of thousands of New Yorkers. Mayor de Blasio has been a strong partner in this effort, and his decision to expand and increase New York City's living wage is welcome news. In taking this action, Mayor de Blasio recognizes that a thriving workforce and a sustainable, innovative economy go hand in hand. No one who works full time should have to live in poverty, and in the Assembly we are committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers and their families are able to thrive,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

“The City Council has been proud to be out front in the fight for a living wage and today builds on Council Members’ tireless work. By raising wages for thousands of New Yorkers, this executive order will go a long way towards lifting families and changing trajectories.  Whether it’s advocating for local control of the minimum wage or fighting for hard working New Yorkers, this Council is dedicated towards giving all New Yorkers a chance,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“I commend Mayor de Blasio on signing today’s Living Wage order, expanding the Fair Wages for New York Act to include jobs in projects that receive over $1 million in city subsidy. Today’s executive order will guarantee living wages to previously exempt workers, such as employees of commercial tenants. Additionally, it will raise the hourly wage for workers who are not eligible to receive employee benefits. These actions go far to move us towards a more economically equitable society, and I look forward to working with the administration to achieve living wage throughout New York City,” said Public Advocate Letitia James.

While it is difficult to make projections related to economic development, based on past patterns the City estimates the executive order will expand the reach of living wage provisions to 70 percent of all jobs at firms supported by City agencies. The analysis indicates living wage requirements would impact roughly 18,000 jobs over the next five years, compared to 1,200 under the current law. Approximately 4,100 jobs covered under the new standards would be held by employees in retail and fast-food businesses that traditionally pay close to minimum wage.

For workers earning the state’s minimum wage of $8 per hour, a Living Wage would increase their gross income from $16,640 to $27,310 per year.

The Living Wage executive order eliminates an exemption for future development at Hudson Yards, bringing thousands of additional jobs under living wage provisions in the years ahead. The order will not pertain to specific types of City-backed housing developments with high levels of affordability, small businesses with gross income under $3 million, and manufacturers, for which agencies will instead pursue skill-building and upward mobility on the career ladder in exchange for City support.

The Living Wage will be set at $13.13 without benefits, or $11.50 per hour with benefits, and will be adjusted each year to match changes in the Consumer Price Index. It previously stood at $10.30 with benefits and $11.90 without.

The Living Wage will be enforced by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

“New York City has been and should always be a nationwide leader in civic innovation, particularly when it comes to the welfare of its residents. Few things are more fundamental to advancing that welfare than helping workers struggling to support their families. Today, Mayor de Blasio has reaffirmed his commitment to civic innovation and our residents’ welfare by raising the living wage and furthering its reach to thousands more workers. This is a measure that recognizes the cost of living challenges that New Yorkers face and builds a meaningful bridge over the inequality gap we have sought to close across Brooklyn and the rest of the five borough,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“Projects that benefit from city subsidies should pay their workers in a way that helps them provide for themselves and their families,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “That way, taxpayer dollars can help create a ‘virtuous circle’ that builds worthy projects and helps those who build or work in those projects, too. Mayor de Blasio is to be congratulated for keeping a promise and keeping faith with working families.”

“Strengthening our city’s living wage not only provides stability and financial security to thousands of workers and their families but it also spurs our local economic growth,” said Congressman Joe Crowley. “As a long-time sponsor of legislation to raise the federal minimum wage, I am pleased the Mayor agrees that taking this step will help to grow our middle class by creating more good-paying jobs.”

“Mayor de Blasio is to be highly commended for his commitment to the working women and men of New York City. For many Americans, though employed and working full-time, their wages and benefits are inadequate to support a family and have not kept pace with the cost of living. As a nation, we have the ability to choose a new direction - to develop the talents of our workers, to stimulate the economy, and to insist on a living wage for every worker in the United States. Today, New York City has become a leader in honoring the labor of our workers and expanding opportunity,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.

“It’s unthinkable that someone working full time would struggle to make ends meet or even live in poverty. Sadly, that's a reality for far too many minimum wage workers. Mayor de Blasio recognizes the need for hard working New Yorkers to support themselves and their families. He has taken a leading role in the debate for fair, living wages by signing an executive order that would ensure more New Yorkers have the opportunity to thrive, not simply survive,” said Congressman Eliot Engel.

“Strengthening the city’s living wage law is an important step to help lift more people into the middle class,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for taking this action today.”

“New Yorkers, like all Americans, deserve an honest wage for an honest day’s work. With this Executive Order, New Yorkers will be one step closer to earning a livable wage, one that factors in the higher costs of living New Yorkers experience. I commend this action by Mayor Bill de Blasio. It will make a difference for millions of people in New York, who work hard and deserve to be compensated fairly,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks.

“By raising the living wage for workers on all contracts that receive more than $1 million in New York City funds, Mayor de Blasio has shown once again that he is a bold leader and is committed to a fairer future for all New Yorkers,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “While our largest corporations have continued to grow to record levels, workers’ wages have not been in line with productivity increases in our economy over the past 35 years. Unfortunately, many working families continue to struggle to get by on remarkably low wages. The current workers' wage is simply not enough to live on. Today’s executive order by Mayor de Blasio is a strong step in the right direction to do more to combat poverty and expand opportunity throughout our great city.”

 “I’m proud that our Mayor is leading the nation in taking bold executive actions to give a pay raise to workers who deserve and need it to survive. In America, the land of opportunity, no one who works full time should be struggling to raise a family. Ensuring a living wage is not just about providing fair compensation, but also preserving justice and dignity for working families. In Congress, I will keep fighting to pass legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage because it is key to closing the opportunity gap and building an economy that works for everyone,” said Congressman Charles Rangel.

“This is welcome news for Bronx residents and I applaud Mayor De Blasio’s efforts to raise the standard of living for many hard working families who need to make ends meet. Thanks to this initiative, thousands of families in New York, including many in my congressional district, will have access to up to an additional $10,000 in additional financial resources each year. Mayor De Blasio has taken an important step close the gap between the rich and the poor in our city and provide our families with more economic opportunities,” said Congressman Jose Serrano.

“New Yorkers who are working on important projects in our local communities deserve a decent, fair, livable wage.  Ensuring that contractors who do business with the City meet this standard will benefit New York’s working families,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.

“Mayor de Blasio’s expansion of the living wage is a big step forward for thousands of hardworking New Yorkers. Working people in our city deserve to be paid fairly, and an honest day's work should allow people to afford to live with dignity. I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio to expand on the progress he is making on this issue by securing a real increase in the minimum wage statewide,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.

“I strongly commend Mayor de Blasio for his leadership in signing the executive order to significantly raise New York City’s living wage law from $11.90 to $13.13. This will help thousands of working families across the city work their way out of poverty, as well as increase their spending power and provide a boost to the local economy. Albany should heed the Mayor’s call and permit New York City to set its own minimum wage at the same amount to help even more struggling families,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman.

Mayor de Blasio’s Executive Order expanding the living wage is a critical step toward ensuring that New York City’s middle class continues to grow and thrive,” said Senator Jose Peralta. “I applaud the Mayor for his leadership on this critical issue and I am proud that New York City will continue to be the national leader on wage justice. Now it’s time for the state legislature to empower municipalities to raise their local wage and reflect the cost of living in the city,” said State Senator Jose Peralta.

“I commend Mayor de Blasio for his continued focus on reversing the tide of income inequality in our City; the logical and necessary expansion of our Living Wage Law executed today is another step in our shared climb up the ladder of economic fairness and equality.  I share the Mayor’s vision that this intermediate step be swiftly complemented by the passage of state legislation authorizing localities, including New York City, to raise the minimum wage in our respective regions,” said State Senator Bill Perkins.

“The Mayor has made a bold move to combat income inequality in our city. The Living Wage Executive Order will ensure that workers also receive benefits of city subsidies and are paid a living wage. New York City should not be subsidizing poverty wages. I also look forward top working with the Mayor to pass my Fair Wage Act in Albany which will raise the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, index the minimum wage to inflation and allow localities to raise their minimum wage an additional 30 percent,” said State Senator James Sanders.

“Many thanks to Mayor de Blasio for taking action and expanding New York City’s living wage law. This is a huge step in assuring a fair living wage for all New Yorkers and reducing the wide gap of income inequality in this city. I look forward to continuing to work together with the Mayor to ensure that New York City has the ability to raise its own wage for all workers and secure a sustainable living wage for all New Yorkers,” said State Senator Jose M. Serrano.

“Hard work and a full time job should not equal poverty, but in New York City, that is the reality for too many workers,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “This April, when I proposed a $15 minimum wage for big businesses, many thought it was pie in the sky. Now, thanks to Mayor de Blasio, with the support of extraordinary advocates in labor and beyond, by 2019 thousands of hard working New Yorkers will be paid $15 an hour.  I applaud the Mayor’s executive order and look forward to continuing the momentum in the state for a fair wage for a fair day’s work.”

“Today, thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s leadership, New York City takes another big step forward in the fight against crippling income inequality. It’s simply good policy to require companies that benefit from public funds to pay their employees a living wage, and I applaud the Mayor for taking an action that will benefit thousands of working-class families. I am a strong supporter of raising the minimum wage in New York State and allowing local municipalities raise it further as they see fit, and I look forward to working with my colleagues next session to give New York City the freedom to establish a minimum wage that reflects the city’s higher cost of living,” said Assembly Member Jeffery Dinowitz.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and his executive order on requiring a living wage.  The Mayor is taking a giant step forward in making NYC fairer for hard working New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Deborah Glick.

“This is a great day for countless New Yorkers who toil in taxing jobs every day, but unfortunately can’t make ends meet,” said Assembly Member Carl Heastie. “Paying hard workers a decent living wage is a moral imperative, one that I enthusiastically support."

“It’s great that Mayor de Blasio is dramatically increasing the number of workers covered by the living wage on city-subsidized work and raising the wage level. With the Mayor's crucial support, I look forward to enacting our bill in Albany to let the City and other high-cost localities adopt a $13.13 minimum for all workers, not just those on city-funded projects, rising to $15.00 and beyond through automatic cost of living adjustments,” said Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh.

“If a business is receiving any form of financial assistance from NYC government, then there should certainly be an even higher minimum wage for their employees. In a city as expensive as NYC, we must do everything we can to ensure that people are receiving a living wage. A higher minimum wage helps everyone, from workers to businesses. Putting more money into the pockets of those most likely to spend it increases demand for products, and in turn, creates more jobs. Earlier this year I voted to expedite the increase of the minimum wage across the state and I applaud Mayor de Blasio for make this a priority in NYC,” said Assembly Member Joseph Lentol.

“Mayor de Blasio’s bold move to expand and improve New York City's living wage law is exactly what hardworking families need and I applaud him for it,” said Assemblywoman Marge Markey. “For far too long, workers have seen their wages fail to keep up with the rising cost of living. That's left families struggling to make ends meet and forced them to make nearly impossible decisions. I'll continue my efforts in Albany to support Mayor de Blasio in helping workers get ahead.”

“The Living Wage Executive Order ensures that tenants, subtenants, and building/construction workers do their part in the fight to protect New York City's workers since these projects are benefitting from New York City subsidies. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for his leadership on this important issue. I will continue to fight for all workers and I look forward to the day when a living wage is a reality for all employees in the entire state,” said Assembly Member Michael Miller.

“I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio for taking a leadership role in the fight for fair wages. Expanding a living wage to more New Yorkers is not only ethical, it's economical. More people earning a living wage means more people who can enter the middle class and more people who can afford to spend in our local economy. It’s only right that our taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that provide sustainable wages; our city is strengthened when more workers are able to earn a living wage. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive order is a direct and common-sense way to help struggling working New Yorkers get back on solid ground. No one in 21st Century New York should have to live on poverty wages. Mayor de Blasio’s executive order is a critical step towards combating substandard wages,” said Assembly Member Francisco P. Moya.

“I commend Mayor de Blasio for standing up for the working people of New York City and expanding the Living Wage law, and fully support the continued expansion of the law,” said Assembly Member N. Nick Perry. “This is another crucial step in decreasing the vast income inequality we see throughout our great city, and a big win for working families who were previously at the mercy of employers who were more concerned with making outrageous profits than paying their workers a living wage.”

“New Yorkers, particularly those in my district of East Harlem/El Barrio, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, need to be paid a just wage. Ensuring their livelihoods and stability within the community by providing fair wages is essential. I applaud the Mayor’s executive order and expansion of the living wage program, and see it as progress towards a more equitable city,” said Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez.

“Implementing a real living wage will help hard working New Yorkers and their families pull themselves out of poverty and on the path to the middle class,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal. “This move will represent real change for thousands of people and is one of the most important steps that we can take if we are serious about tackling crippling income inequality, but we need more.  I will continue to support efforts to provide New York City with the power to set its own minimum wage.”

“Under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio, New York City has been at the forefront of protecting workers from unfair treatment.  From paid sick leave to this much needed expansion of the living wage law New York City is becoming a friendlier place for people to live and work.  I commend Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to workers and look forward to seeing more policies like this that make this city a better place for all New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Luis Sepúlveda.

“Today’s expansion of those covered under the cites living wage law removes forever the notion that New York is a city that cares only for the rich and powerful, I applaud the Mayors decision to advance this legislation and thank him for his leadership on this important issue,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.

“This powerfully resounding action truly gets to the heart of repairing the deeply rooted problem of inequality in our city,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “While we certainly have a long way to go, this is a massive step forward. I sincerely applaud Mayor de Blasio for once again showing his unwavering commitment to empowering working families and giving every New Yorker a chance to make it.”

“I’m proud to stand with Mayor de Blasio in celebrating the New York City Living Wage Executive Order. Today, there are too many New Yorkers who work hard and faithfully and have too little to show for it. It’s right to take a stand against city funds being used to subsidize poverty wages and this order does just that. It is also finely calibrated to avoid harming other important public goals, like growing small construction businesses and encouraging hiring from challenged groups. This is real, meaningful progress and on behalf of my constituents, I celebrate it,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy.

“As the cost of living in New York City continues to outpace the increase in wages and salaries, thousands of families are struggling to make ends meet,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo. “Mayor de Blasio’s executive order to increase the living wage is a major step forward for New Yorkers. This is a major win, particularly for households across this city that are led by women who are the sole breadwinner with one or more jobs to meet their financial obligations. I hope that our colleagues in Albany will take similar action to further support the economic development of our state.” 

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for signing the Living Wage Executive Order. The Living Wage EO underscores the Mayor's firm and unwavering commitment to working men and women across our city. As a result of this action, thousands of workers who would not have received the living wage will now attain it over the next few years,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene.

“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for today’s executive order on expanding living wage which will benefit thousands of New Yorkers. I am particularly pleased that this order will cover the Hudson Yards development in my district. New York, once again, under Mayor de Blasio is leading the way nationally on fighting income inequality and today’s executive order continues this important fight,” said Council Member Corey Johnson.

“$8.00 an hour is not a living wage. $13.13 is. With the Mayor’s order, thousands more New Yorkers will be able to live lives of greater choice and opportunity,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. "I applaud Mayor de Blasio for the living wage executive order and look forward to all New Yorkers having access to a living wage.”

“Mayors de Blasio’s executive order to raise the city’s living wage is a testament to helping the average New Yorker get a leg up in this economy; and to strengthening our vanishing middle class. I commend Mayor de Blasio for recognizing the plight of the everyday New Yorkers by signing this executive order, which is the beginning of establishing a real and true living wage in our city. Thank you Mr. Mayor,” said City Council Member Andy King.

“This executive order will help so many people; this is a wonderful thing for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz.

“As an early sponsor of the original Living Wage Bill (Intro 251/2010) that covered fast-food and retail tenants of subsidized projects and indexed the wage for inflation, I’m very pleased to see this Executive Order restore those important elements. When we provide public subsidies to private businesses to create jobs, we simply can't allow poverty wages. Now its Albany's turn: give us the power to raise New York City’s minimum wage, so we can help hundreds of thousands of hard-working New Yorkers earn enough to get by,” said Council Member Brad Lander.       

“Expanding the living wage will help working New Yorkers and make for a fairer, more equitable New York City. Workers deserve a living wage and this expansion will help thousands of additional New Yorkers earn the pay they deserve. Thanks to Mayor de Blasio for making living wages a priority for New York City,” said Council Member Stephen Levin.

“When it costs nearly twice as much to raise a family in New York City than in Buffalo, it’s clear that the City needs to be able to set its own minimum wage. Working families are put in the unfair situation of having to worry about whether they can scrape together enough money for their monthly rent or afford basic necessities like a winter jacket for their kids or healthy meals. As we wait for Albany to take action on this proposal, I congratulate Mayor de Blasio for extending the City's living wage to an additional 18,000 families, which could amount to an extra $100 per week in their paychecks,” said Council Member Mark Levine.

“I am very gratified and grateful that the Mayor is signing this act. This is very important for working New Yorkers and I appreciate what the Mayor is doing,” said Council Member Alan Maisel.

“I enthusiastically support Mayor de Blasio’s executive order increasing the living wage, and expanding the workers covered under the living wage requirements for city-subsidized projects. The living wage bill, originally enacted when I was chair of the Council's Contracts committee, was a first step toward ensuring that all New Yorkers working on City-subsidized projects are paid a living wage. This executive order expands our city's commitment to fair wage projects. The order will significantly improve the lives of the New Yorkers who need it most. It will help many of our city’s lowest-paid workers rise above poverty to provide better lives for themselves and their families.  This order sends a clear message that City funds will be used only in projects in which the workers are paid a decent wage. It is a significant and necessary change that makes our city better and reaffirms the Mayor's commitment to a fair and equitable New York,” said Council Member Darlene Mealy.

“We stand firmly behind the Administration in this expansion of living wages for New Yorkers. This is another example of the local government’s commitment to improving the quality of life for working families in the City. I look forward to working towards its implementation and making sure proper enforcement is carried out,” said Council Member Daneek Miller.

“Mayor de Blasio’s Executive Order is a much needed step in the right direction.  By expanding the living wage mandate to include retail workers in subsidized developments, the city will help ensure that economic development paid for with our tax dollars helps lift hard working New Yorkers out of poverty,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

 “The current minimum wage in New York City is simply not enough," said Council Member Donovan Richards. "The Living Wage Executive Order acknowledges that too many hardworking families continue to struggle at poverty level wages while employed full time. I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s leadership in this effort to increase and expand the scope of the current legislation, and improve the quality of life for those most vulnerable,” said Council Member Donovan Richards.

“I fully support Mayor de Blasio's executive order, which addresses income inequality by giving a well-deserved raise to many New Yorkers who are living near or below the poverty line,” said Councilmember Debi Rose. “Raising the city's living wage -- and expanding it to include thousands more workers -- will spur economic activity and growth while lifting working families out of poverty. I have advocated for this since I was elected, and I am pleased to see it come to fruition.”

“Increasing wages for workers on city-subsidized projects ensures public dollars are invested in jobs that bring stability to families across all boroughs and reduces poverty in every community,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “Mayor de Blasio’s decision to increase the living wage requirement through executive order speaks to his unwavering commitment to addressing income inequality and dramatically improving the lives of thousands of working class New Yorkers.”

“In 2013, New Yorkers sent a clear message, that we need to address and alleviate this issue of inequality in our city. Right now thousands of New Yorkers are working themselves to the bone, only to still not have enough money to get through the month. This order will provide those hard working New Yorkers with a wage that can actually live on, bringing them out of poverty and into the working class,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.

“The term ‘working poor’ should not exist. Working a full-time job and not making a livable wage is unacceptable, especially for those working on projects partly-subsidized by the City,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. “I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for implementing the Living Wage Executive Order, which will require employers who receive tax-payer dollars pay a living wage to their employees. As our city continues on the path of economic recovery, this executive order will help ensure that good jobs with a living wage are created for those who need them most.”

“Income inequality is out of control in our city and our nation, the middle class is being decimated, and working people are struggling to survive. That’s why the healthcare workers of 1199SEIU applaud Mayor de Blasio’s expansion of New York City’s living Wage law, which will help thousands of families afford basic necessities like groceries, school supplies, utilities and rent. Together with Mayor de Blasio’s other progressive initiatives like universal pre-K, earned sick time and affordable housing, this is one more crucial step towards ensuring that New York is a place where everyone can thrive, not just the wealthy. We look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio to pass state legislation in the new year which will allow New York City to extend a living wage for all,” said Kevin Finnegan, Political Director of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

“We applaud the Mayor’s decision to stand with working families and raise the hourly wage to $13.13. This decision gets fast food workers a step closer to winning $15. Now it is up to Albany to raise the wage for all New Yorkers and provide millions with a realistic and livable wage,” said Jonathan Westin, Executive Director of New York Communities for Change. 

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for following through on his promise to enhance the city’s living wage legislation. This executive order will help improve the lives of many retail workers. It will ensure that more retail tenants and subtenants in taxpayer-subsidized development projects pay living wages. We’re glad to be working with the Mayor on this important effort to reduce inequality and to make our economy fairer and stronger for working families,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), UFCW.

“The Mayor’s decision to use the power of the city’s purse to raise wages for hard-working New Yorkers is an incredibly important step towards ending New York’s tale of two cities,” said Héctor Figueroa, president of 32BJ SEIU. “Expanding the living wage to more workers means that fewer families and children will struggle in poverty, and that’s good for all New Yorkers.”

“Nothing is more important than ensuring fair pay for all New Yorkers. Our union salutes Mayor de Blasio for keeping his word and accomplishing what he promised to do,” said Local 237 Teamsters President Greg Floyd.

“Today's expansion of the living wage law is a victory for all working people and for the principle of economic justice.  As an education union, the PSC is proud to stand by a mayor who is taking action to reduce economic inequality and the daily injustices that go with it.  Many of the families whose lives will be transformed by this law are the families of our students at CUNY; this executive order changes everything for them,” said Barbara Bowen, President of PSC/CUNY.

“Every New Yorker deserves a living wage. NYSNA nurses see the devastating impacts of poverty on our patients every day. We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for his commitment to ending inequality and to building a stronger, more united city where working people can create a better future for our families,” said Jill Furillo, Executive Director of NYSNA.

“This Executive Order corrects the glaring omission in the City’s living wage ordinance that left out commercial tenants on projects the City subsidizes. If the increase announced today is Step 1, I hope Step 2 will come in January when Albany raises the state minimum wage and gives NYC the authority to set its own minimum wage. That will help nearly a million low-wage New York City workers.” Parrott noted that since the recession began in 2008, the inflation-adjusted wages of the typical low-wage NYC worker have dropped by nearly 9%, while the earnings of a typical high-wage worker rose by 6%,” said James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute.

“Mayor de Blasio today announces a major initiative to ensure that our investment in job creation and growth here in New York City can and must be an investment in GOOD jobs. The members of Make the Road New York congratulate and thank the Mayor today. We will stand with you as we make New York City truly a city for all of us,” said Deborah Axt, Co-Executive Director, Make the Road New York.

“The living wage Executive Order will have a real impact on thousands of hard-working families in New York City. Our mayor not only came through on a campaign promise, but improved on it   by covering more workers at higher wages, higher than initially projected. This is a significant first step toward raising the minimum wage for all workers in New York City and it leads the way for New York State and the rest of the country. UAW Region 9A is proud to stand with Mayor de Blasio today,” said Julie Kushner, Director of UAW Region 9A.

“Expanding living wage coverage is a great beginning in the fight against the disparities that are plaguing our city.  With more income coming into the hands of workers, more money will be put back into the economy and more opportunities can be created.  We applaud Mayor de Blasio for ensuring coverage for more workers and more jobs,” said Ketny Jean-Francois, Board of Directors, Community Voices Heard.

“We commend Mayor de Blasio’s ongoing commitment to addressing income inequality, said Hispanic Federation President Jose Calderon. By taking this step, the Mayor is helping to ensure that our city can be a place where all workers can put food on the table for their families and have an opportunity to live in dignity,” said Jose Calderon, President of  Hispanic Federation.

“By his action today, Mayor de Blasio has significantly strengthened the living wage law and set a new benchmark of $13.13 as the minimum adequate wage in our city,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of Community Service Society. “Together, with his expansion of paid sick days, these policies move New York forward, and insure that when the city invests in large economic developments that businesses, workers and local communities all benefit.”

“This measure is long overdue.  The City currently spends almost $700 million a year on property tax exemptions going to developers, not to mention many other forms of assistance.  This executive order balances the scale by insuring that the people who hold jobs in these developments will also benefit in a real way from that effort,” said John Mollenkopf, Director of Center for Urban Research.

“The Mayor’s executive order today results in a much needed expansion of protections under the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act that covers more workers and improves wages. We look forward to how this action will help pave the way for living wages for all workers in our city,” Daisy Chung, executive director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York.

“The expansion of this living wage law is a good start in addressing the inequality gap that we are facing here in NY. We look forward to supporting the administration with this bill and the efforts to expand the law,” said Rev. Robert Waterman, Pastor at Antioch Baptist Church.

“A movement for a $15 minimum wage is sweeping the country and Mayor de Blasio’s executive order makes sure that New York City isn't left behind. As he works with Gov. Cuomo to give the city the power to raise its minimum wage citywide, the mayor's move to bolster the
City’s living wage law boosts wages right away at city-subsidized projects to $13.13 and then phases it up to $15.00 by 2019. It sets the stage for an expansion of a living wage to all of the city's workers and adds fuel to the Fight for $15 that started two years ago right here in New York when fast-food workers went on strike, demanding higher pay,” said Paul Sonn, general counsel at the National Employment Law Project.

“I’ve worked two jobs at minimum wage and still wasn't making enough money to afford my own apartment so I could get out of the shelter system. The expansion of New York City’s living wage law is exactly the type of people-first policies we need to combat rampant income inequality and homelessness in our city. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for ensuring working people have enough money in our pockets to live a decent life,” said Elizabeth Owens, VOCAL-NY.

“This is a great first step in setting a tone of economic justice not only  in New York City but for the entire state and our nation. As a pastor in Far Rockaway I know my people need  living wage jobs and I know this will greatly impact my community,” said Pastor Arthur Davenport, First Church of God and Faith in New York Board of Directors.

“Faith in New York commends Mayor de Blasio for taking this important step for working families. We know that equitable pay will ensure that New York City is a place for working families. Our sacred text declared in 1 Timothy 5:18 that ‘a worker is worth his wages’ and so we believe that ALL New Yorkers deserve work with dignity,” said Onleilove Alston, Interim Executive Director Faith in New York.

“The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition applauds the Mayor’s efforts to expand the current Living Wage for New Yorkers bill which will put real money in worker's pockets.  This is but one step in a longer fight to ensure that all workers earn fair pay for their work. We stand with the Mayor in this effort and look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio to overcome any obstacle to ensuring that all workers earn a living wage citywide,” said Sandra Lobo, President of NWBCCC.

“The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) commends the Mayor and his administration of providing rigorous, yet balanced, living wage benchmarks for New York City. Individuals and families who work hard to support the local economy, and support local businesses will directly benefit from this Executive Order. SoBRO firmly supports the economic vitality and community development of the Bronx and all of New York City,” said Phillip Morrow, President of South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO).

“The faith community in New York City celebrates Mayor Bill de Blasio signing an executive order today that will expand New York City’s living wage law. According to the Hebrew prophet Micah, we are required to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). Mayor de Blasio’s moral leadership in working to end economic inequity in New York City is an expression of the justice we are called to embody in our urban life together,” said Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Director of The Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary.


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