Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Minimum Wage Rises for State Workers under Wolf Executive Order Raises It to $10.15

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Minimum Wage Rises for State Workers under Wolf Executive Order Raises It to $10.15

Article excerpt

HARRISBURG - Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday signed an executive order requiring Pennsylvania state workers under his jurisdiction and employees working on future state contracts to be paid at least $10.15 an hour.

The order would mean a 40 percent raise for any affected worker earning the state's minimum wage, which at $7.25 is equal to the federal minimum. But Mr. Wolf acknowledged that its effect will be limited: The administration estimates the order will raise the wages of about 450 out of approximately 79,000 state workers under the governor's jurisdiction, most of them seasonal clerical workers. The wage requirement would be indexed to inflation.

Organizations that negotiate contracts with the state after July 1 will be required to pay at least $10.15 an hour to employees who do certain amounts of work on the contract. The governor's office said it estimates that about 109 vendors may be affected by the executive order, in areas such as food preparation and janitorial, landscaping and delivery services.

"The goal is to do what I can as governor to make sure that the people working in Pennsylvania have a living wage, or as close to a living wage as we can get," Mr. Wolf said.

With legislative Democrats standing by his side, Mr. Wolf called on the General Assembly to pass legislation raising the state's minimum wage. He said a higher wage would help workers, boost morale and productivity at businesses and increase revenue to the state.

Republicans responded coolly.

"Outside of his two budget addresses, raising the minimum wage is not something the governor has emphasized as important during our ongoing conversations," Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, said in a statement.

Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Republicans, said: "Everything he's doing right now is to increase leverage for taxes. …

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