LOCAL Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights

Jan. 19- Lobby for the Virginia Fair Wage Act

The Virginia Coalition for the Homeless and Social Action Linking Together are hosting a Lobby Day on January 19, to push for support for the Virginia Fair Wage Act.

A short training will be provided, and folks will team up to meet with members of the Commerce and Labor Committee (where the Act will be introduced), as well as their local representatives.
The Virginia Fair Wage Act

Our 2006 Agenda

The Virginia Coalition for the Homeless is teaming up with Social Action Linking Together (SALT) and other like-minded organizations to propose the Virginia Fair Wage Act in the 2006 Virginia General Assembly. If successful, this proposal would raise the minimum wage in Virginia by $1.00 per year in each of the next three years (to $6.15/hour on July 1, 2006; $7.15/hour on July 1, 2007; and $8.15/hour on July 1, 2008). Thereafter, the minimum wage would be indexed to inflation and would rise in order to keep its value in the marketplace.

Rationale

Currently, the Virginia minimum wage is linked to the Federal minimum wage, and stands at $5.15/hour. It has not increased since 1997, and in that time has lost one-third of its value to inflation. In relationship to average wages, the minimum wage is at its lowest point since 1949. Most minimum wage workers are full-time employees; and most are adults with families to support. At minimum wage, a full-time job earns less than $11,000 per year-which is nearly $5,000 less than the poverty rate for a single parent with two children.

In one of the wealthiest States in the richest nation in the world, we believe it is shameful that the promise of work-the hope that, with hard work, a person can lift themselves out of poverty-is being betrayed. We are shocked and offended that homeless shelters throughout the Commonwealth are filling up with people who work hard for a living-but cannot afford the cost of housing, transportation, food, and medical care.