Hundreds of low-wage workers and allies from labor organizations and faith communities organized to raise the wage in Johnson County. We successfully passed an ordinance that raised the rage to $8.20 on September 1, 2015. The next raise will be to $9.15 on May 1, 2016 then to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017.
We can’t survive on $7.25
No one working for $7.25 an hour, even working full-time year round, can pay for their basic needs. Considering the actual cost of necessary expenses, without including any “frills,” a single person would have to earn $13.04 per hour, and a single parent with one child would have to earn $20.83. A low-wage worker has to work 2-3 jobs, live in substandard housing, rely on public assistance, combine resources with neighbors, and do whatever else is necessary just to survive. It is a precarious existence that is unsafe, unhealthy, and does not respect the human dignity of the worker.
Higher Wages Help Everyone
Minimum wage increases stimulate the economy by increasing consumer spending, which drives 70 percent of the economy. A higher minimum wage puts money into the pockets of low-income consumers, who immediately spend it where they live. That means a thriving local economy, and local governments collecting more sales tax. Increased incomes mean school districts receive more funding through the state income tax surcharge. At the same time public assistance spending goes down because workers can afford to support themselves through their work. Communities thrive because workers now have time to participate more fully in school and community activities, and all workers human dignity is respected.