As of Sunday, MA Residents Will Get A Much Needed Raise
As 2023 is slowly but surely approaching, the new year brings another minimum wage increase in Massachusetts. Starting Sunday, workers will see a 75 cent raise as $14.25 per hour goes up to $15. This is a long-awaited extra boost in employees paychecks. the only acception is those who are agricultural workers, as the minimum wage is a mere $8, members of a religious order, workers being trained in certain educational, nonprofit, or religious organizations, and outside salespeople.
Tipped employees' minimum wage will receive a $1 increase from $6.15 to $6.75 per hour and they must make $15 per hour when their tips and wages are combined. Employers must make up the difference if the tips don't bring the worker to $15 per hour at the end of a shift.
This hike is the final step in a five-year increase from $11 to $15 approved by voters and signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker 4 years ago. The Bay State has one of the highest increases in the USA as those who are struggling day-to-day will see a slight benefit in their upcoming paychecks. But there are some reservations on this latest move:
Inflation means that one dollar today buys significantly less than it did a while back. According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, it took nearly $18 in November 2022 to buy what $15 bought in June 2018. This past Tuesday, Raise Up Massachusetts released a statement that celebrated the minimum wage finally reaching $15 status but the move simultaneously described that new rate as inadequate.
Jon Hurst, President of Massachusetts Retail Association reiterated some concern for those employers who have to shell out the upcoming "raise in pay":
“Profitability has totally evaporated. Their costs of operations have risen substantially. … Early 2023 could indeed be a very challenging time. We may indeed be entering a period of recession, where we will see some jobs eliminated and a lot of small businesses close their doors.”
Karissa Hand, a spokesperson for Governor-elect Maura Healey, recently issued a statement to WGBH News in Boston that options are open to changing the minimum wage status quo.
"Governor-elect Healey is a strong supporter of paying workers a fair wage and believes the state minimum wage should be adjusted over time to keep up with the cost of living, She will review any legislation that reaches her desk."
BOTTOM LINE: So what's the problem as politicians in Bean Town are questioning this important move that could regenerate local economies as people will have more disposable income to spend and this would truly add incentive. Employers need to realize people cannot work with wages that were "historical" in nature. This is one time where moving forward is beneficial for ALL!
(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of www.wgbh.org and NBC-10 Boston)