Raise Up NY Responds to Governor Hochul’s State Budget
Tal Frieden, Raise Up NY available for interviews
New York, NY (January 16, 2024) – In response to Governor Hochul’s Fiscal Year 2025 New York State Budget, Tal Frieden, Raise Up NY coalition spokesperson and ALIGN Campaign Manager, and Stan Koniszewski III, Teamsters Joint Council 18 Political Coordinator, released the following statements:
Tal Frieden, Raise Up NY coalition spokesperson and ALIGN Campaign Manager:
“Governor Hochul’s State Budget denies New Yorkers the living wage they deserve. Between leaving upstate workers behind and a loophole that suspends cost of living raises when unemployment rises, this budget is harmful to working families.
“It’s clear that the Empire State does not care about working New Yorkers. The current minimum wage is far less than New Yorkers need to survive, as well as far less than what workers are receiving in other states and municipalities across the country. The Governor must use this session to quickly repeal the minimum wage’s loopholes and establish parity for upstate to ensure this law can start to help all New Yorkers.”
Stan Koniszewski III, Teamsters Joint Council 18 Political Coordinator:
“It is an incredibly difficult time to be a worker in New York. Even though workers are working nonstop, underpaid workers barely make enough to pay skyrocketing rents, groceries, and basic necessities. Governor Hochul must step up to the plate and deliver the real raises workers deserve. Whether you punch a clock in the Capital Region or Westchester, all New Yorkers deserve a fair wage. We won’t stop until this is a reality.”
- 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.