Young people ages 18-22 years old deserve the same minimum salary as the workers 23 and older. Whether they are students at NAU or working in other parts of our state, they should receive at least the minimum wage. Recent legislation introduced by Travis Graham from the 12th district is unacceptable (Student wages to be reduced? A1, 1/30/19).
To pay young people $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage, when the minimum wage rose to $12.00 an hour on January 1, 2019 in Arizona is creating a two-tiered wage system. A recent front page article in the AZ Daily Sun highlighted how students at NAU are already being short changed by receiving the federal minimum wage. These students are fighting the wage gap by requesting that their school be mandated to follow Arizona’s minimum wage.
For the last 37 years wages in our country wages have increased little due to the suppression of the minimum wage at the federal level, as well as a pro-business environment throughout our country.
States like Arizona have taken action to increase the pay for all of us by mandating a higher minimum wage. Business entities like the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce may try and sound like they are “pro-worker” by saying a lower minimum wage will increase the number of jobs for people ages 18-22, but what they are really doing is trying to protect the profits of their members. Let your state legislatures know that a minimum wage is meant to increase the earning power for all Arizonans no matter their age.
AZ Daily Sun February 4, 2019