Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Wichita Branch NAACP joins the campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage in Kansas!

The Wichita Branch NAACP stands with the Kansas Action Network in supporting an increase in the Kansas minimum wage of $2.65 an hour. We believe this figure is disgracefully low and should be raised to match the national level. According to the Department of Labor, there are now at least 27,000 Kansas workers who are covered by the absurdly low Kansas minimum wage rather than by the federal minimum.

We believe a job should keep you out of poverty, not in poverty. Because the Kansas legislature has refused to raise the minimum wage since 1988, it is time for us to act locally. We call upon the City of Wichita to use its home rule authority to establish a city minimum wage matching the federal level. Ultimately, in 2009, the federal minimum wage will rise to $7.25 an hour. Currently, the figure is $5.85. In 2008 it will rise to $6.55.

Kansas has the lowest minimum wage in the nation. We say: Keep up with the rest of the country. Raise the wage to the federal minimum wage level, and keep it there. Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and contains 21% of the state workforce. Our example can make a difference, not only here but for Kansas as a whole.

A minimum wage of $2.65 an hour is nowhere near enough for workers to afford basic necessities for themselves and their families. This figure amounts to less than $6,000 per year for someone working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks per year. This is a stark contrast with the federal poverty line of $17,170 for a family of three.

Raising the wage is an important step in helping workers support their families.Raising the wage is essential to healthy communities and businesses, and enduring economic growth.

The following Wichita-based organizations support the campaign to “Raise the Wage:”
Adorers of the Blood of Christ Convent - APWU #735 - Bricklayers Union Local 15 - Business and Professional Women of Kansas; Wichita Chapter - Childcare Providers Together/AFSCME - Church Women United; Wichita - Communication Workers Local 6402 - Heartland Quaker Meeting - Hope Street Youth Development - IAM & AW Local 639 - IAM & AW Local 733 - IAM & AW Local 774 - IAM & AW Local 839 - IAM & AW Local 2799 - IAM & AW LL 708 - IBEW Local 271 - IBEW Local 1523 - International Association of Fire Fighters Local 135 - Kansas/Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ - The Wichita Branch NAACP - Labor Council on Latin American Advancement - National Association of Letter Carriers - National Organization for Women; Wichita Chapter - Peace & Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas - Plumbers and Pipefitters UA 441 - ProKanDo - Sedgwick County Democratic Party - Sedgwick County Federation of Women’s Democratic Clubs - SEIU Local 513 - Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 29 - Sisters of St. Joseph; Dear Neighbor Ministries - Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace Local 2001 - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - Peace and Social Justice Committee - Teamsters Union Local 795 - United Food and Commercial Workers Local 2 - United Teachers of Wichita Local 725 - Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation of Central Kansas - AFL-CIO - Wichita State University; Campus Progress - Wichita State University; Political Science Club

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