Vice Speaker Cruz: “7,000 Workers to Get Pay Raises in January, But We Have More Work to Do”

201
Guam – Senator B.J. Cruz has issued a statement on the Governor’s decision to sign the compromise minimum wage bill.
                                                                                     
The Senator was the author of the original measure which proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017. The compromise bill signed into law Thursday by Govenror Calvo raises the minimumw age by $1-dollar effective Janaury 1st of 2015.
                                                                                     
In his staetment Senator Cruz points out that more than 7,000 island works will get a pay increase but “while this measure is a strong step forward for working families, I know we have more work to do.”
                                                                                     
READ the release from Senator Cruz below:

Wage Bill Signed, 7,000 Workers to Get Pay Raises in January
CRUZ: WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO
                                                                                     
(July 10, 2014 – Hagåtña) After months of taking heavy fire from the private sector for pushing to responsibly raise the wage for thousands of minimum wage workers, Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz is thankful that the governor signed Substitute Bill 316 into law this afternoon. Originally proposed to incrementally increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017, the measure was pared down to a single dollar increase—from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour effective January 1, 2015.
                                                                                     
“At its core, we worked to raise the minimum wage because no one who works full time should live in poverty,” Cruz said in response to recent developments announced on Travis Coffman’s radio talk show early this afternoon. “While this measure is a strong step forward for working families, I know we have more work to do.”
                                                                                     
Seventeen percent of private sector workers and 14 percent of Guam’s total labor force earn less than $8.20 an hour, according to data from Guam Bureau of Labor and Statistics presented by Chief Economist Gary Hiles of Guam Department of Labor at the Wage and Compensation Forum hosted by the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GWCC) in April.
                                                                                     
Hiles estimated that 7,840 private sector workers and 408 government of Guam workers would be affected by a minimum wage increase to $8.20, which was the first of the three 95-cent increments in the original Bill 316 introduced April 14, 2014.
                                                                                     
The new minimum wage hourly rate of $8.25 is still 52 cents under the adjusted $8.77 an hour necessary to keep pace with the increases in cost of living since the second quarter of FY 2009 when the last minimum wage increase to $7.25 an hour was implemented, according to calculations presented by economics professor Dr. Claret Ruane of the University of Guam at the GWCC forum in April.
                                                                                     
“I thank the Governor and my Republican colleagues for siding with the thousands of working people who will be positively affected by this law,” Cruz said.

Wage Bill Signed, 7,000 Workers to Get Pay Raises in January