Minimum Wage Hike Makes The Ballot

12by20A release from Colorado Families for a Fair Wage celebrates the qualification of Amendment 101, a measure to raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020, for this year’s general election ballot:

A coalition of business owners, workers and supporters with Colorado Families for a Fair Wage had submitted 200,000 signatures, more than double the 98,492 signatures needed to qualify, showing overwhelming support for the measure.

“Our coalition of business owners, workers and supporters is energized by the voters’ enthusiasm for our ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020,” said Lizeth Chacon, Colorado Families for a Fair Wage co-chair. “Raising the minimum wage is smart and fair. It’s smart because when working people have more money in their pockets, they spend it here in Colorado, boosting our economy and helping our communities thrive. It’s fair because people working full time should earn enough to support their families.”

Extensive research shows that modest raises in the minimum wage like this proposal helps the economy by increasing consumer spending – and does not result in job loss in sectors most likely to hire minimum wage workers. Because low and middle-income workers are more likely to spend pay increases than higher paid workers, each $1/hour wage increase creates a ripple effect in spending, generating $1.20 in the local economy, potentially leading to further job growth.

“We are solidly behind raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 and we expect to be paying our own employees more than that by 2020. In our ten years of operation, we have seen results that show if we pay our staff higher wages, we have a better retention rate and we spend less money on hiring and training so we are able to keep our best employees and keep our high standards of service at the levels our customers expect. In turn, the business makes more money as we have a high number of loyal, repeat customers,” said Jeff Rogoff, co-owner of Sazza, a fast casual restaurant in Greenwood Village. “Even more important, we are giving our staff the ability to efficiently take care of their monthly bills and contribute to Colorado’s booming economy.”

We expect this to be a hard-fought campaign between proponents of Amendment 101 and the Colorado Restaurant Association, but polls say the public strongly supports an increase to something closer to a survivable amount of money for full-time workers to live on. Campaigns like “Fight for 15” from labor unions have raised awareness of the plight of low-wage workers in America, from an inability to provide for themselves and their families to the resulting dependence of full-time working families on government assistance–assistance that carries negative stigma hard-working peeple do not deserve.

On the other hand, you might have to pay a bit more for your Big Mac. So there’s that.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    I bet it passes! Glad to see this on the ballot.

  2. Moderatus says:

    This will put tens of thousands of Coloradans out of work. Vote NO.

    • Colorado Pols says:

      Probably billions

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Moddy can't free himself from the bonds of his Trickle Down fetish.  Even our deep-red Cornhuskers thought it was a good idea with 60% of Nebraskans voting in favor of a state-mandated minimum wage. 


    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Ahhhhh, that long-awaited next return visit from Mr. Credibility . . . 

      . . . stuff it, Fluffy!  You've got nothing, never had, never will. 

    • DavidThi808 says:

      At my company our minimum is presently above $12.00/hr (and only part time student interns are even close to it). 

      So speaking as a business owner, no one would lose their job if the minimum wage went to $12.00/hr tomorrow. In fact, no one here would even get a raise.

      • BlueCat says:

        And you aren't alone. Even in the big box world, some employers have found that raising wages saves them money because their workers stay and they don't constantly have to spend money paying people who don't know WTF they're doing yet to keep up with the constant turnover. Higher wages mean less turn over and creates better service and happier customers who aren't always having to deal with help that's no help at all because they just started and don't know anything about anything.

        And that’s not even taking into account the macro benefits to the whole economy of lots of people with more money to spend.

        • Duke Cox says:

          I'll second that.

          I have always paid at the top of the local pay scale of my trade. I no longer have employees, but when I did, I paid to keep my good help.

        • Pseudonymous says:

          There's a good (and brief) article about this at the Harvard Business Review.

          The High Cost of Low Wages

          […] A 2005 New York Times article by Steven Greenhouse reported that at $17 an hour, Costco’s average pay is 72% higher than Sam’s Club’s ($9.86 an hour) […]

          On the benefits side, 82% of Costco employees have health-insurance coverage, compared with less than half at Wal-Mart. And Costco workers pay just 8% of their health premiums, whereas Wal-Mart workers pay 33% of theirs. Ninety-one percent of Costco’s employees are covered by retirement plans, with the company contributing an annual average of $1,330 per employee, while 64 percent of employees at Sam’s Club are covered, with the company contributing an annual average of $747 per employee.

          Costco’s practices are clearly more expensive, but they have an offsetting cost-containment effect: Turnover is unusually low, at 17% overall and just 6% after one year’s employment. In contrast, turnover at Wal-Mart is 44% a year, close to the industry average.

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            Ah, there's the rub, as it were . . .

            . . . the core belief structure.

            if you believe people are disposable, you'll treat them just like a cheap Bic pen. Use em' up, toss em' out.  Get another one outta' the box.  Don't worry, we'll make more.  You'll treat people like garbage, because you know that's where you're gonna' toss them all eventually . . . 

            If you believe that people have value, your treatment and care and handling of them will be entirely different.  And, you'll get value from them in return . . . 

    • BlueCat says:

      So I'm sure you have lots of proof showing how higher wages has always  or ever) meant fewer job and a poorer economy? Oh wait….  you could probably come up with more evidence that we never landed on the moon. Not saying plenty of dumb Trumpsters wouldn't believe you….

  3. davebarnes says:

    My local Burger King (38th and Wads) has a sign: "now hiring, starting at $10/hr"

  4. mamajama55 says:

    School districts around the state will have to improve their hourly wage for substitute teachers by 2018. Otherwise, the people whose responsibility it is to keep your kids safe and teach them will not be paid as much as your McDonald's workers. That's right, your kid's "sub" gets around $10 an hour now, $11 in Jeffco and Denver.

    We still need to get to $15 / hr, but this is a good starting place.

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