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Don’t raise the minimum wage


Dec. 19, 2013


The time was when we had a minimum starting wage. Somehow this has become, overtime, a standard for the lower paying jobs. I suppose it’s because of a slow economy and the need of some to be employed at starvation wages. It’s not supposed to work that way.

Raising the minimum starting wage will not help anyone and hurts those who work for and earn merit raises. Raising the minimum starting wage feeds inflation and removes incentive pay increases. Besides, if the starting wage is raised to a level enough to support a family, it is no longer a starting wage but fuels the idea that it can and should be a long-term wage.

My suggestion is a minimum wage scale. Starting at a modest $7 for a first-time new worker, full- or part-time with a 50 cents raise for every 1,000 hours worked for up to the 10,000 hour per $11.50. At that rate in the fifth year of employment, a minimum wage worker on 40 hours would make approximately $22,500 and that is the minimum. Now, $7 may not be much but for a part-time, school-aged worker it’s not bad when you consider the future. At less than a half year, full-time job, a 50 cents raise then at just short of a full year wages go up another 50 cents! That is now the most hourly workers get these days.

The employer must now pay for the experience of the worker and also reap the benefits of the training provided the worker. Part time, full time, overtime and second job time all counts because the scale is actually based on wage times, the scale hours and wages earned.

When earnings (lifetime) exceed $7,000 the wage goes to $7.50 and at $14,500 the wage goes to $8 and so on. For grandfathering, the workers already in the workplace get credit based on lifetime earnings 60 percent in the first year and remaining 40 percent the next year.

To just raise the minimum wage feeds inflation and takes away from merit wage increases. In the end it will not help anyone and may lead to more unemployment. Using a wage scale will reward workers for loyalty and experience and give help to those who need it.

The base wage here is for simplification and just a suggestion. The formula for a long-term minimum wage scale is what is important and I urge you to support this type of plan.

If the raising of the minimum wage can “fix” the problem alone, then let us all be blessed and raise it to $45 per hour.

Mike Schieb

Chicopee

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