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Published on April 13, 2008

Author: craig

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Slide1:  A Living Wage or A Death Wage? Andrew Kang Bartlett, Associate for National Hunger Concerns, Presbyterian Hunger Program, PC(USA) Social Justice 2005 Biennial Conference PHEWA & Women’s Advocacy Tucson, Arizona A Wage is a Wage is (not) a Wage:  A Wage is a Wage is (not) a Wage Legal Wage minimum wage attract to region or country as low as possible w/o violating law A Living Wage?:  A Living Wage? Ethical Wage self-defined within industry prevailing wage race to the bottom A Living Wage?:  A Living Wage? Non-Poverty Wage poverty guidelines for family of 3 plus 20% in wages or health $15,670 + (3,134) = $18,804 / hourly $7.84 plus health or $9.40 A Living Wage?:  A Living Wage? Moral Wage morality; human conscience image and likeness of God more than min. fuel & maintenance contribution vs. needs A Living Wage?:  A Living Wage? Just Wage examine distribution of benefits from production and profits worldwide concentration and deprivation of wealth A Living Wage?:  A Living Wage? Legal Wage Ethical Wage Non-Poverty Wage Just Wage Moral Wage A Living Wage?:  A Living Wage? Legal Wage Ethical Wage Non-Poverty Wage Just Wage Moral Wage Death wages Barely living Living wage Divine wage The Living Wage: a tool to combat hunger:  The Living Wage: a tool to combat hunger Why are we watching this?:  Why are we watching this? Identify the tentacles of the poverty octopus Explore the connections between a living wage and hunger Learn what we can do Poverty: as an octopus:  Poverty: as an octopus 1) Food (30 million insecure. EFA 17% up; ’99-’00) 2) Housing (26% of homeless employed) * strong economy = increased housing costs 3) Healthcare (43 million; 85% working families) 4) Transportation Poverty: The Octopus:  Poverty: The Octopus 5) Discrimination/ Racism/Sexism 6) Education/ Childcare 7) Spirit (community & hope) 8) Money taxes, lending, income  Real Family Income Growth Adjusted for Inflation [Source: U.S. Census Bureau; based on mean family income]:  Real Family Income Growth Adjusted for Inflation [Source: U.S. Census Bureau; based on mean family income] Poorest 20% Poorest 20% Richest 20% Richest 20% Change in real household income by percentiles, 2000-03 & 2002-03 2004 U.S. Government Census:  Change in real household income by percentiles, 2000-03 & 2002-03 2004 U.S. Government Census Income & the Living Wage:  Income & the Living Wage As Christians, should we accept that people in the richest nation in the world can work 40 hours a week and still live in poverty? Erosion of the minimum wage: The buying power of the national minimum wage of $5.15 per hour is 30% below its peak in 1968, Despite about 50% higher productivity. Do Our Taxes Support Poverty Wage Jobs? :  Do Our Taxes Support Poverty Wage Jobs? The answer is YES! In many communities, janitors, school bus drivers, food service, security, child care and other workers who work for contractors hired by state and local governments are paid poverty wages. For these Americans, health insurance, paid vacations, paid sick leave and pensions are only dreams. LIVING WAGES FIGHT POVERTY:  LIVING WAGES FIGHT POVERTY Across the nation, cities, counties and other local governments are adopting living wage ordinances to help working families get a decent standard of living. Commonly, living wage ordinances seek to: insure that the employees of public contractors or corporations receiving public financial assistance and public employees earn at least a poverty level wage Living Wage Ordinances:  Living Wage Ordinances Some have gone beyond this bare minimum to offer: incentives for employers to provide health insurance and paid time off for sick leave and vacations How is a Living Wage determined?:  How is a Living Wage determined? The wage a full-time worker would need to earn to support a family above the federal poverty line, ranging from 100% to 130% of the poverty measurement. A Typical Formula Another Formula: Universal Living Wage:  Another Formula: Universal Living Wage I. Living Wage Based on Housing Costs: Work a minimum of 40 hour week Spend no more than 30% of income on housing Index the wage to the local cost of housing as set the U.S. government - HUD Fair Market Rents Food now comprises a smaller proportion of a family’s expenses, especially relative to housing costs, but the calculation to determine the Federal Poverty Line is still based on food costs. Another formula:  Another formula II. Based on Food Stamp Eligibility Level In Montgomery County, MD, the wage was set at food stamp level, which is 130% of the Federal poverty line This equaled about $10.30 an hour In all cases, annual increases need to be included in the adopted ordinance Living Wage: Fringe? Or a Movement?:  Living Wage: Fringe? Or a Movement? 123 Living Wage Ordinances have been passed in the United States Living Wage is a Movement:  Little Rock AR Pine Bluff AR Phoenix AZ Monterrey Co. CA San Anselmo CA San Diego CA San Mateo CA Santa Barbara CA Santa Monica CA Sonoma Co/SantaRosa CA Ventura County CA Boulder CO Grand Junction CO Bridgeport CT Willimantic CT Broward County FL Coral Gables FL Gainesville FL Jacksonville FL Miami FL South Miami FL Tampa FL Athens GA Atlanta GA Davenport IA Iowa City IA Champagne-Urbana IL Indianapolis IN Lafayette IN South Bend IN Manhattan KS Wichita KS Lexington KY Baton Rouge LA Bangor ME Living Wage is a Movement City and County Campaigns UNDERWAY Living Wage is a Movement:  Allen Park MI Grand Rapids MI Hazel Park MI Kalamazoo MI Madison Heights MI Monroe MI St. Louis County MN Oxford MS Asheville NC Charlotte NC Wilmington NC Portsmouth NH Camden County NJ Albuquerque NM Reno NV Albany NY Binghamton NY Elmira NY Ithaca NY Rockland County NY Syracuse NY Troy NY Utica NY Columbus OH Kent OH Eugene OR Medford OR Allegheny County PA Providence RI Knoxville TN Memphis TN Nashville TN Austin TX Charlottesville VA Richmond VA Spokane WA Living Wage is a Movement City and County Campaigns ~ continued ~ Living Wage is a Movement:  Agnes Scott College, GA American University/Washington College of Law (Washington, D.C.) Brown University Bucknell University College of William and Mary Cornell University Duke University Earlham College, IN Fairfield University, CT Harvard University Johns Hopkins University Kent State, Ohio Northwestern University Princeton University Rhodes College Stanford University Swarthmore College, PA University of California - San Diego University of Connecticut University of Illinois - Chicago University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign University of Minnesota University of Northern Illinois University of Pittsburgh University of Tennessee University of Virginia University Pittsburgh Valdosta State University, GA Living Wage is a Movement Colleges and University Campaigns UNDERWAY Living Wage is a Movement:  California Connecticut Florida Hawaii Illinois Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Minnesota (Implementation) Montana New Hampshire New Mexico New York North Carolina Washington West Virginia Living Wage is a Movement Statewide Campaigns (Interest) UNDERWAY And why would I want to act? :  And why would I want to act? Win or lose, Living Wage campaigns: mobilize churches and community organizations unite broad coalitions develop leaders and organizations Well… and what else?:  Well… and what else? Living Wage raises a public debate about the problem of working poverty ~ and ~ Points to fundamental questions concerning: Community economic development Corporate welfare and responsibility Government accountability And if they succeed…:  And if they succeed… Families are brought out of poverty Demand on social services and funds decrease Upward pressure on wages throughout the area Incentives to privatize government functions are reduced The churches, organizations and the coalition are strengthened by the victory ! . Slide30:  The road before us has been paved by hard work and great successes! For example, East Tennessee Presbytery passed a resolution for all congregations to study the living wage, pay all the church employees a living wage, and encourage congregants to do likewise. Resources and assistance for launching or joining a Living Wage Campaign:  Resources and assistance for launching or joining a Living Wage Campaign The Bible calls for it! Our General Assembly Social Witness Policy affirms it! The Economic Policy Institute and others have compiled the research! ACORN and others have created successful models! And fellow Presbyterians can support you! Slide32:  By Andrew Kang Bartlett, Associate for National Hunger Concerns

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