Raise Up NY Responds to Governor Hochul’s 2024 State of the State
New York, NY (January 9, 2024) – In response to Governor Hochul’s 2024 State of the State, Tal Frieden, Raise Up NY coalition spokesperson and ALIGN Campaign Manager, and Dan Maloney, UAW Local 1097 President, released the following statements:
Tal Frieden, Raise Up NY coalition spokesperson and ALIGN Campaign Manager:
“Governor Hochul claims to champion working New Yorkers, but her State of the State isn’t telling the whole story. Rather than take this opportunity to pay upstate workers a fair wage, she is once again selling upstate short by paying them less than their fellow New Yorkers downstate. Combined with the harmful loophole that denies workers a raise in years of increased unemployment, the Governor’s new law does not do enough for working families.
“The Governor is failing working New Yorkers by providing them with far less than the living wage they deserve, as well as far less than workers in states and municipalities across the country. Rather than give herself accolades for a flawed bill, the Governor should quickly repeal the minimum wage’s loopholes and establish parity for upstate New Yorkers to make this law equally benefit all New Yorkers.”
Dan Maloney, UAW Local 1097 President:
“Rochester has the highest childhood poverty rate in the country. Too many Rochesterians are working around the clock but still struggling to make ends meet. In order to address this crisis, Governor Hochul needs to give workers a real raise instead of selling us short. Working people in Rochester deserve just as much as our counterparts in Long Island. We refuse to be left behind.”
- On January 1, 2024 the minimum wage increased to:
- $16/hour in New York City, Westchester and Long Island
- $15/hour in the rest of New York State
- The minimum wage increases are insufficient for New Yorkers across the state:
- The MIT Living Wage calculator shows a living wage in New York state is $21/hr
- The 2023 minimum wage package includes a loophole that denies workers wage increases in years of increased unemployment:
- If the unemployment loophole had been in effect since 2000, inflation adjustments would have been suspended in six out of 23 years — nearly one in four years.
- Of the 19 states and scores of cities that index their minimum wages to the cost of living, no other Democratic-led state has passed an automatic off-ramp. Instead, they guarantee their workers inflation adjustments in the minimum wage even during economic down-turns — with no harm to their state economies.
About Raise Up NY
Raise Up NY is a coalition of labor unions, community groups, workers’ rights organizations, and businesses that support underpaid workers in their fight for fair wages and an economy that works for everyone. In 2023,the coalition fought to pass the Raise the Wage Act to adopt a higher minimum wage with annual cost-of-living increases, winning a partial victory when Governor Hochul adopted a minimum wage that will reach $17 downstate and $16 upstate by 2026. But these raises are far from enough, and the fight for livable wages continues. Raise Up NY will work to ensure statewide minimum wage parity and repeal harmful loopholes that would freeze the minimum wage in years of increased unemployment. Coordinated by ALIGN, Raise Up NY includes steering committee members National Employment Law Project, Strong Economy for All, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, For the Many, SEIU 32BJ, Make the Road NY, New York Communities for Change, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, Churches United for Fair Housing, Worker Justice Center of New York, Partnership for the Public Good, Tompkins County Workers Center, and the Teamsters Union, among others.
ALIGN (Alliance for a Greater New York) is a longstanding alliance of labor and community organizations united for a just and sustainable New York. ALIGN works at the intersection of economy, environment, and equity to make change and build movement. Our model addresses the root causes of economic injustice by forging strategic coalitions, shaping the public debate through strategic communications, and developing policy solutions that make an impact.