Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Play

The nation is jolted by another mass shooting, this time at a Texas elementary school; a mixture of hope and stark realities on the 2nd anniversary of Floyd Murder; a new map shows more Americans live within oil & gas "Threat Radius."

Play

At least 19 children and two adults killed at Texas elementary school, President Biden delivers remarks on shooting from White House, lawmakers plead on gun control, NRA to hold conference in Houston this week, Stacey Abrams and Gov. Brian Kemp favored to win Georgia primary.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

ME Minimum Wage Now 60 Cents Higher Than Last Year

Play

Monday, January 3, 2022   

Mainers working for minimum wage will see a modest increase in their paychecks starting this month, as inflation has driven it to $12.75 an hour.

Maine ties its minimum wage to the consumer price index published by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, after a 2016 ballot referendum called on the state to increase the wage from the federal minimum of $7.25 to $12 by 2020, and then based on cost of living thereafter.

Andy O'Brien, communications director for the Maine AFL-CIO, said it's so important that wages rise with inflation.

"For too long here in Maine, a lot of people have had to survive on poverty wages," said O'Brien. "And the cost of housing is skyrocketing, health care is going up, child care, groceries, just all kinds of basic necessities."

He added that $12.75 an hour is still not enough for many Mainers, but it is important to make progress.

Four other New England states also are hiking their minimum wages - Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island - while New Hampshire remains the only one that still keeps to the federal minimum of $7.25.

Thousands of workers across the nation went on strike in 2021, and companies saw record numbers of union drives and elections. O'Brien said this type of collective action is what's needed to make sure folks are able to take home a living wage.

"If you look at real wages compared to the 1960s, wages have largely stagnated," said O'Brien. "And when you look at the cost of housing back in the '70s or '60s, it's just incomparable. And so this is a tremendous challenge."

In Maine, workers at Maine Med - the state's largest hospital, the Portland Art Museum, and record store chain Bull Moose all formed unions. And staff at Bates College have launched a union drive. O'Brien said he hopes to see this trend continue beyond the COVID pandemic.




get more stories like this via email
A bill to phase out plastic packaging has passed several committees and is expected to go to the full California State Assembly for a vote by Friday. (Oceana)

Environment

The California State Assembly is expected to vote this week on a bill that would phase out some of the plastics used in online shipping because they …


Health and Wellness

The National Institutes of Health has begun a nationwide research project to better understand how to prevent and treat what's become known as "long" …

Health and Wellness

As Kentucky students head into the unofficial start of summer this weekend, children's advocates are urging families to prioritize physical activity…


George Floyd's murder sparked global protests over systemic racism, but advocates say there's no silver lining to end decades of racial disparities in states such as Minnesota. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

President Joe Biden is using today's second anniversary of George Floyd's murder to sign executive orders on police reform. From criminal justice to …

Health and Wellness

From inflation to climate change, Wisconsin farmers face numerous sources of stress that can't help but affect their health. And one program is …

Nurse aides in New York are required to complete at least 75 hours of formal training. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As the pandemic began, the federal government waived certain certification requirements for nurse aides to help with health-care worker shortages…

Health and Wellness

May marks both Mental Health Awareness Month and Military Appreciation Month. In Pennsylvania, officials want to ensure that veterans know mental-…

Environment

By Bryce Oates for The Daily Yonder. Broadcast version by Chance Dorland for North Carolina News Service, reporting for The Daily Yonder-Public News …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021