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Living Wage

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NEWS
By Erin Texeira and Erin Texeira,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer William F. Zorzi Jr. contributed to this article | July 25, 1996
Top state officials have quietly signed a work contract that is making Maryland history: They are providing a "living wage."Under the contract, the state will pay about two dozen janitors at the World Trade Center in downtown Baltimore $6.60 an hour, more than $2 above the federal minimum wage of $4.25.Today, the trade center janitors get their first improved paychecks, and Gov. Parris N. Glendening will hold an afternoon news conference announcing the increase.The wage increase, approved by the state Board of Public Works last month, is part of a growing movement to ensure that full-time workers are paid above the poverty line in hopes they can avoid using public subsidies to survive.
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NEWS
July 16, 2014
I don't live in Baltimore, but I have been following the workers' struggle at Hopkins closely. A $15 per hour minimum wage is a no brainer in today's world ( "A win-win for Hopkins," July 8). People often use the "small business" red herring to really say that working people are asking for too much when they ask for $15. But Hopkins isn't a small business, so that isn't plausible at all, at least not here. The author admits that Ronald Peterson, president of Hopkins, made over $15 million this past year, but worries about passing on costs to the consumer.
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NEWS
February 12, 2014
For the last 20 or more years, the gap between the wealthiest one percent and the rest of society has continued to widen. Those with the money can afford lobbyist to pressure Congress to pass laws that benefit the wealthy while downgrading hard working people who lack the resources to fend for themselves. In the recent investigative article, "Why $10.10?" (Feb. 9), it was revealed that the proposed increase in minimum wage doesn't even match the purchasing power of the minimum wage in 1968.
NEWS
July 8, 2014
The tentative contract reached early Tuesday between Johns Hopkins Hospital and the labor union representing about 2,000 of its service workers represents a victory not only for the hospital and members of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East but for Baltimore. The contract raises wages, in some case dramatically so, allowing Hopkins to set an example of what a "living wage" can mean for the health and security of workers in this city. It was a hard-fought effort that included a three-day strike in April and, more recently, intervention by Gov. Martin O'Malley to avert another such action.
NEWS
July 22, 2010
The current bill making its way through the Baltimore City Council to require retailers with gross sales over $10 million to pay their employees a living wage is an important piece of legislation which was unnecessarily maligned by columnist Marta Mossburg ("Baltimore can't live with this 'living wage' bill," July 20). Every study which has been conducted on living wage laws has shown they do not increase the cost to employers, because the higher wages paid lead to decreased turnover, which lowers the costs of hiring and training as well as reducing workplace errors.
NEWS
September 25, 2013
I wish to ask those who oppose raising the minimum wage to think back to when they first had a job, full- or part-time. I'm a senior citizen, and my first job was in the 1950s. I worked full-time and was paid $1 an hour, with no benefits. So between the 1950s and 2013, the minimum wage has gone up to $7.25 an hour. So what we have seen basically has been a $6 increase over those 63 years. How can you pay for gas, rent, utilities, medical care, etc., on that amount of money? I know of people who spend that amount weekly on frivolous things.
NEWS
April 14, 2014
According to its mission statement, Johns Hopkins Hospital seeks "to afford solace and enhance the surrounding community. " This goal is hardly consistent with the poverty-level wages paid by that fine institution to its core employees ( "Balancing priorities and resources at Johns Hopkins," April 11). Twenty-five percent of the employees who engaged in a three-day strike last week earn so little that they are officially considered to be living in poverty while 70 percent of them earn so little that they qualify for food stamps.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | October 5, 2010
A Baltimore City Councilwoman says she has backed out of talks with Walmart officials about worker pay at a proposed store in Remington after they asked her to withdraw her support for a bill that would require all major retailers to pay a "living wage. " Councilwoman Belinda Conaway said she had attempted to negotiate higher wages for store employees, but that she refused Walmart's request that she abandon the living-wage bill proposed by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke. "You get to a point where you don't have anything to negotiate with," said Conaway, who represents portions of West Baltimore, including the proposed site of the 25th Street Station development.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2010
After more than four hours of testimony by business and religious leaders Thursday, a bill that would have required major retailers to pay workers the city's living wage died on a tie vote in a Baltimore City Council committee. Councilman Warren Branch, chairman of the three-member labor subcommittee, voted against the bill. Councilwoman Belinda Conaway voted in its favor; Councilman Nicholas D'Adamo was absent because of his parents' poor health. After the vote, the measure's sponsor said she was hopeful it could be resurrected.
NEWS
By Ben Cashdan | May 20, 1999
LAST WEEK, community leaders from some of Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods called for private employers to follow city government's example by paying a "living wage" to their lowest paid workers and providing health benefits.Johns Hopkins University should take the lead in such a campaign. Hopkins, the largest private employer in Maryland, has more than 1,000 workers who make poverty wages.A living wage is defined as one that lifts a family of four above the federal poverty line. In Baltimore, that's $7.70 an hour, which will rise to $7.90 in July.
NEWS
April 15, 2014
Johns Hopkins Hospital President Ronald R. Peterson, defends his decision to restrain raises for Hopkins employees by citing the hospital's "finite pool of funds. " ( "Balancing priorities and resources at Johns Hopkins," April 11.) That finite pool must look a little larger when it comes time for Hopkins executives to dole out raises to themselves. In fiscal year 2012, the latest year for which the hospital has released figures, Mr. Peterson's base pay and bonus grew 7.5 percent.
NEWS
April 15, 2014
We came to this university to learn how to practice the best medicine in the world. We know that the mission of Johns Hopkins Medicine is "to improve the health of the community and the world," and we embrace this commitment to making Baltimore better. We also believe that good jobs paying living wages are essential for people to realize their full health potential. Though we are neither union negotiators nor experts in this hospital's finances, we believe that Hopkins should be able to afford to pay its employees a higher wage to lift them out of poverty and enrich our Baltimore community.
NEWS
April 14, 2014
According to its mission statement, Johns Hopkins Hospital seeks "to afford solace and enhance the surrounding community. " This goal is hardly consistent with the poverty-level wages paid by that fine institution to its core employees ( "Balancing priorities and resources at Johns Hopkins," April 11). Twenty-five percent of the employees who engaged in a three-day strike last week earn so little that they are officially considered to be living in poverty while 70 percent of them earn so little that they qualify for food stamps.
NEWS
March 20, 2014
Maryland gubernatorial candidate Del. Heather Mizeur has decided to run a campaign based upon returning power to the people rather than caving in to the big money that dominates most elections. Ms. Mizeur became the first candidate for the office since 1994 to accept public financing for her campaign - rejecting the notion that elections must be rigged and bought by the biggest spender. Her opponents in the Democratic primary, state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, have all gone the other direction, wooing lobbyists and corporate executives for cash and more ad time.
NEWS
March 5, 2014
After reading the typical one-sided, liberal argument for minimum wage increase ("Economy flourishes when wages go up," Catonsville Times, Feb. 26), I cannot resist commenting. The writer uses the usual point of social injustice because those earning minimum wages are not making a so-called "decent" living wage. Whether raising the minimum wage causes job losses or job gains is long a point of debate among economists. But from where does this extra wage increase come? President Barack Obama says business owners should take lower profits.
NEWS
By Frederick Derrick | February 25, 2014
Calls this year to raise the state and federal minimum wages from $7.25 to $10.10 brought the expected political responses from both sides of the aisle. Regrettably, neither side's response is clearly supported in reality. The final outcome will minimally impact employment and poverty. Politicians would more effectively spend their time passing legislation for making future adjustments to the minimum wage by regulation or by a commission. Conservatives argue that raising the minimum wage will lead to lost jobs.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,sun reporter | April 7, 2007
The Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill yesterday that would require state contractors to pay workers a "living wage," despite objections from rural lawmakers who said their constituents would be short-changed by the proposed pay system. The 88-50 House vote sent the measure to the Senate, where that chamber's president, Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller, says it is likely to pass before the General Assembly adjourns Monday. Legislators moved swiftly to pass the bill after Gov. Martin O'Malley and legislative leaders reached an agreement this week to resurrect a proposal that had appeared moribund.
NEWS
February 21, 2014
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown wants to be governor and to be responsible for the state's budget, but he displayed his lack of fiscal responsibility in his handling of the Maryland health care exchange and in his statements about raising the minimum wage ( "Brown leads Democrats in governor's race, but many undecided," Feb. 15). He fails to have performance clauses placed in contracts to protect taxpayers from incompetent vendors. And he fails to understand how business works when he says that an increase of the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will put $5,000 in the pockets of minimum-wage workers.
NEWS
February 12, 2014
For the last 20 or more years, the gap between the wealthiest one percent and the rest of society has continued to widen. Those with the money can afford lobbyist to pressure Congress to pass laws that benefit the wealthy while downgrading hard working people who lack the resources to fend for themselves. In the recent investigative article, "Why $10.10?" (Feb. 9), it was revealed that the proposed increase in minimum wage doesn't even match the purchasing power of the minimum wage in 1968.
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