“To date, no other state has enacted a $15 public sector minimum wage,” the governor stated.
The move follows Gov. Cuomo’s push to increase the $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers earlier this year, after creating a wage board to review the matter.
Similarly, state workers in New York City will earn $15 an hour by the end of 2018; state workers outside of New York City will see wages rise incrementally, to $15 an hour by the end of 2021.
“I believe that if you work hard ,and work full time, you should not be condemned to live in poverty,” Cuomo stated. “Yet, millions of families nationwide continue to be left behind by an insufficient minimum wage, and it’s time that changed.”
About 10,000 state employees will see a pay increase following the governor’s action, with the majority of workers, approximately 9,000, living outside the city, or in upstate New York, the governor’s office stated.
Cuomo made the announcement Tuesday, on the heels of fast-food workers protesting at rallies across the nation, in support of a $15 per hour minimum wage for all workers.
The governor has advocated for a higher minimum wage since his re-election in January, but has been faced with opposition from Senate Republicans. Recently two conservative policy groups also released a report stating New York would lose an estimated 200,000 jobs if the state increased minimum wage to $15 per hour for all workers.
However, several employee advocacy groups also released statements in support of the wage increase Tuesday.
“On a day when there is national focus on economic fairness, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has demonstrated bold leadership that will benefit undervalued working people, and send a clear message that this issue cannot be ignored,” Danny Donohue, president of the Civil Service Employees Association, said in a statement.
“Today, in New York, we are leading by example, and creating an economy that is defined by opportunity, not inequality,” said Cuomo.
The governor announced the wage increase at a rally for low-wage workers in New York City Tuesday.