Denver’s minimum wage ,A worker earning minimum wage told colleagues that they are still debating the amount they have budgeted for such as rent or food
People in Denver could see a boost in their first pay check in 2023. Denver’s minimal wage has increased 9percent from the previous year’s $17.29 in order to keep pace with inflation. However, it’s still less than the amount that one union believes could be enough to cover the cost of living.
Yulianna Guerrero, a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) member and the janitor for Denver she said that she along with her fellow janitors confront difficult decisions on how to spend their money.
“Because right now we debate between paying for rent, paying for food, [and] taking our kids to school,” she explained in Spanish.
9Wants to know found that the minimum wage increased by 70 percent from the previous year in 2018, and is higher than the Denver metro area’s growth in inflation by 19% in the same time frame.
It is Dr. Amy Glasmeier, a professor and researcher at MIT she estimated that a single individual who lives in the Denver metropolitan area without children must earn $19.62 an hour to cover “basic needs while also maintaining self-sufficiency.” The hourly wage rises by $38.42 an hour when an adult on their own is in charge of caring for the child.
Guerrero claimed that she was engaged in discussions with the janitorial contractors on the increase in minimum wage which led to an increase of 45 cents per hour for certain janitors based on the number of years they have worked.
“Well, we have to keep fighting,” she stated. “Keep fighting so that our representatives understand that they have to give more, the best pay so that the people can live comfortably.”
Guerrero stated that she and her colleagues put their families as well as themselves at risk when they clean during the outbreak.
Stephanie Felix-Sowy, the president of SEIU Local 105 She said it’s crucial to think about the things that people can live off not only the basic minimal amount a company has to offer their employees.
“Our members and the workers being affected positively by these increases are obviously being impacted immensely and are grateful,” she added. “And that we can also say in the same sentence that it’s still not enough.”
The gap between the minimum wage and living wage is much greater in other areas in the State. Colorado’s minimum wage in 2023 is $13.65 according to Colorado Department of Labor and Employment data.
Glasmeier claimed that one of the main reasons why the living wage is greater over the min wage due to the lack of affordable housing.
“When you build affordable housing, people can keep a larger portion of their wage to spend on other things,” she explained. “You could end up having greater numbers of people with money to buy items locally. This can help boost the economy.”
Glasmeier added that there are additional options for companies to assist their employees in closing the gap. For instance, providing transportation assistance with transportation passes or gas cards as well as subsidizing childcare for children.
“There are a lot of different mechanisms to make it easier for people to live in a place which is both inflationary and also a place where they do have some kind of cost limitations like Denver because everything has to be shipped in,” Glasmeier stated.
She added that businesses could help their employees by reducing the amount they pay in taxes.
One business has was cited by the increase in minimum wage as a reason for them to close their doors. Nicole Sullivan, the owner of Book Bar in Denver, claimed that having to pay employees more is not sustainable when as compared to the price they could earn from selling books.
“I’m certainly not against raising the minimum wage,” Sullivan wrote in a blog post in which he announced the end of the program. “Everyone is entitled to an income that is sustainable and we’ve always been adamant to making more than what is required. I just wish that this company could manage to afford it. I would like to see other small companies can manage to get it done.”
Felix-Sowy stated that the union doesn’t want to eliminate people from their jobs, but they need to pay their workers in a fair way.