Activists will converge on the state Capitol this Wednesday to try to stop lawmakers from gutting a minimum wage increase without regard for the will of voters.
One Fair Wage is hosting a legislative education day on Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. Learn more about the event and how you can get involved – especially for retirees and other activists whose schedules allow them to participate in legislative action during weekday work hours.
In case you missed it, MEA President Paula Herbart wrote about the fair wage proposal and another measure – earned paid sick time – that qualified for the Nov. 6 statewide ballot in Michigan but were instead enacted earlier this fall by lawmakers. Both are under threat in the “lame duck” session of the Legislature starting this week.
Read Herbart’s full column, “Political Games Destroy Public Trust.”
Herbart explained the cynical political maneuvering of Republican leaders in her “Labor Voices” column in the Nov. 21 Detroit News. Thousands of support staff members of MEA stand to lose if rumored changes to the two proposals go forward.
Herbart wrote: “In the spring, the group ‘Michigan Time to Care’ submitted more than 380,000 signatures for a petition to create an Earned Sick Time Act that would guarantee employees one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Around the same time, organizers with the ‘Michigan One Fair Wage’ committee submitted 373,000 signatures to raise the hourly minimum wage to $12 by 2022. Both petitions garnered over 100,000 more signatures than required by law.
“Both proposals were headed to the Nov. 6 ballot. However, the state constitution allows the Legislature to approve citizen initiatives and forgo a statewide vote. The Republican-controlled Legislature did just that—and supporters of both proposals saw their sudden approval as a cynical act to keep the measures from reaching the ballot and drawing more Democratic voters to the polls.
“But it gets worse.
“Not only did legislative leaders pass the proposals to keep them off the ballot, they now plan to weaken or gut those proposals in December.”