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Infographic on Minnesota's minimum wage increase for large businesses.
The Minnesota state House followed the state Senate's lead in passing a minimum wage increase that includes:
-- Raising minimum wage for businesses with gross sales of more than $500,000 to $8.00 in August 2014, $9.00 in August 2015 and $9.50 in 2016.

-- Raising wage for businesses under $500,000 in gross sales over three years to $7.75 by 2016.

-- Requiring large employers to pay $7.75 by 2016 to workers under age 18, as a 90-day training wage for 18- and 19-year-olds, and to certain international workers at summer resorts.

-- Starting in 2018, increasing wages annually by inflation capped at 2.5 percent.

-- Giving state Department of Labor and Industry commissioner authority to suspend the inflation increase if indicators forecast an economic downturn. Suspended increases could be restored in better economic times.

It's another imperfect minimum wage increase, but more than 350,000 workers should get a raise. Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill Monday.

Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.

A fair day's wage

  • Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman, the guy who's trying to do away with a state law requiring that workers get a day off each week, is running for Congress.
  • That notorious anti-union law got a majority in the Missouri House, but that's not enough to pass it.
  • Striking workers shame prestigious Johns Hopkins hospital over low pay.
  • The National Labor Relations Board has consolidated several intimidation and retaliation complaints against T-Mobile, but when news broke that a manager refused to give pro-union workers a high-five, the AFL-CIO had to act. And act it did, with a list of 10 suggested ways T-Mobile can further punish pro-union employees.
  • After 250 workers walked out to protest a longtime driver being fired, UPS fired all of them. But now, under pressure, it's rehired them all, though they'll get an unpaid suspension.
  • What's not to like about a "Labor Action Plan" between the U.S. and Colombia under which 73 trade unionists have been murdered?
  • LinkedIn has a post up from Barbara Corcoran, an employer and judge on the television show Shark Tank, explaining her theory of firing people:
    To start off, I established a firm policy at the Corcoran Group to clean out the bottom 25 percent of our commissioned sales force each year. Firing people is the worst part of running any business, and the people best at hiring are never good at firing and tend to put it off too long. But I knew if the bottom quarter of the sales force wasn’t earning its keep, I wouldn’t be able to support the top salespeople who were making all the money. Moving our least productive people out and on their way to new careers was as important a part of my job as recruiting new talent, and I knew the faster I did it the better it was for everyone.
    Right! So it's not that she's kind of a sociopath, it's that firing 25 percent of her employees every year is the nice thing to do. And this is the kind of employer that gets the TV gigs.
  • What's a sip-in, you ask? Jake Blumgart has the answer.

Education

  • In the context of California's very scary Vergara case, education researcher Linda Darling-Hammond explains to Josh Eidelson why all the furor about getting rid of bad teachers is looking at the issue wrong:
    It is extremely easy to get rid of teachers. You can dismiss a teacher for no reason at all in the first two years of their employment. And so there is no reason for a district ever to tenure a “grossly ineffective” teacher — as the language of the lawsuit goes — because you know if a teacher is grossly ineffective pretty quickly, and it’s negligence on the part of the school district if they continue to employ somebody who falls into that classification when they have no barriers to [firing them]. And districts that are well-run, and have good teacher evaluation systems in place, can get rid of veteran teachers that don’t meet a standard and [don’t] improve after that point.

    But in fact, the ability to keep teachers and develop them into excellent teachers is the more important goal and strategy for getting a high-quality teaching force. Because if what you’re really running is a churn factory, where you’re just bringing people in and, you know, firing them, good people don’t want to work in a place like that. So it’s going to be hard for you to recruit. Second of all, you’re likely not paying enough attention to developing good teachers into great teachers, and reasonable teachers into good teachers.

    That’s not to say you shouldn’t get rid of a bad teacher if you get one. But you ought to be very careful about hiring and development – that makes that a rare occurrence.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  MN was overdue for this. Good to see it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, askew

    Smaller businesses will pay more too:

    The plan to raise Minnesota's minimum wage includes:

    -- Raising minimum wage for businesses with gross sales of more than $500,000 to $8.00 in August 2014, $9.00 in August 2015 and $9.50 in 2016.

    -- Raising wage for businesses under $500,000 in gross sales over three years to $7.75 by 2016.

    -- Requiring large employers to pay $7.75 by 2016 to workers under age 18, as a 90-day training wage for 18- and 19-year-olds, and to certain international workers at summer resorts.

    -- Starting in 2018, increasing wages annually by inflation capped at 2.5 percent.

    -- Giving state Department of Labor and Industry commissioner authority to suspend the inflation increase if indicators forecast an economic downturn. Suspended increases could be restored in better economic times.
    http://www.twincities.com/...

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:05:54 AM PDT

    •  Oops didn't mean to post (0+ / 0-)

      all that, browser is acting glitchy.  

      I meant to repeat how low the small business min. wage is.  I'm not really too happy about that and whereas the small biz wage is now $0.80 under the large biz wage, the new law will increase the gap to $1.75.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:11:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's better than a poke in the eye (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye

      with a sharp stick, but it's about as tame a concession as you could get.

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 01:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fed min wage is $7.25 (0+ / 0-)

    Why does the graphic say its currently $6.15? I dont get the context.

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:09:47 AM PDT

  •  With all due Respect... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Anne Elk, gooderservice

    I'm not sure there's much to celebrate here.

    first off-- I'm stunned to learn Minnesota's min wage is $6.15, one of THE lowest in our nation. who has a lower min wage? Arkansas?

    how is Minnesota (a progressive state) getting away with this crap when the federal min wage is $7.25 per hour?

    thus if the state really wanted to make a difference, they should Immediately raise their min wage to $9.50. instead they're lamely waiting until 2016.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:10:52 AM PDT

    •  This is incorrect. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, askew

      Minnesota's minimum wage is 7.25 per hour.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:15:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK, then the Chart is Wrong-- It Clearly States (4+ / 0-)

        the current min wage is $6.15.

        so if it's $7.25 an hour, the raise to $8.00 an hour this August is negligible; will this result in any more than $5.00 per two week work period-- working 35 hours a week (or less) as many QSR workers do?

        up to $9.00 per hour in 2015; where does that get us-- and extra $20.00 per pay period?

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:23:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. The chart is wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          Google it and you'll see it is very clear that the Minimum wage in Minnesota is 7.25 an hour.

          This entire country is far behind on the minimum wage issue, we all know that, and I'm not going to try to tell anyone that this is fantastic, but it does have the value of setting precedent for movement up in the minimum wage wars.

          I think the minimum wage should be at least $13 an hour, as set out by this excellent but angering video that has gotten a lot of attention on this site and elsewhere. (The part about how much Walmart makes on the food stamps their wages force their employees to use is particularly enraging.)

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:48:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The "Congratulations" in big red letters seems (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayRaye, gooderservice

            to be telling us that this is fantastic.  Just sayin' . . .

            The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

            by Alice Olson on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:57:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Again, As I've Stated in the past (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice

              Clearly the bar has been set very lowwwwwww by some progressives in Bloggo world.

              That's due to the fact we're making very little progress resolving the at least ten critical problems facing our nation right now.

              $25 dollars more in your pay every two weeks is NOT going to help someone save for college, it's NOT going to help someone save up to buy a car to get to college.

              These minuscule changes are being celebrated as a BIG deal because nothing else is getting done.

              "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

              by Superpole on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 02:16:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps it is a relative thing. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Edith Franzen, mchristi314
              The DFL-sponsored bill would give Minnesota the highest state-mandated minimum wage in the nation, just above Washington. The city of San Francisco has the highest of all at $10.55.
              http://www.mprnews.org/...

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 03:53:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  A quick search seems to indicate it is indeed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente, WineRev, mchristi314

        $6.15 by Minnesota law.  However, since it's below the federal minimum wage, the minimum wage in Minnesota is effectively $7.25.

      •  Actually, it's not (0+ / 0-)

        The minimum wage for a "large employer" in Minnesota state law has been $6.15 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That minimum, for all those covered by the federal law, overrides the lower minimum wage in state law. So the effective minimum has been $7.25. But the chart is correct when looking at what the state minimum wage is. (Info on the current state limits can be seen at http://www.dli.mn.gov/....)

        As of August 1, 2014 the minimum wage will be $8.00 per hour, and the state law will override the federal minimum wage for most workers in the state.

        Minimum wage, even when the phase-in is complete is still a pittance, but it is certainly better than allowing people to get away with paying a mere $7.25 (much less $6.15) an hour.

    •  4th lowest poverty rate and 11th lowest ue (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sow hat, mconvente, askew, Jervill, mchristi314

      The legal minimum wage doesn't tell the whole story. Minnesota has passed a lot of other legislation from education, tuition freeze, healthcare, other labor legislation, marriage equality.

      This is a win for Democrats.  Concessions were seen as reasonable compromises.  Democrats have a substantial record of genuine accomplishments and getting things done even a new Vikings stadium and a new light rail line.  

      It's fine for the phonies in Congress to talk about raising the minimum wage.  Minnesota did it.

      •  which is what every says (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, gooderservice

        For instance, in Texas most conservatives would say that a person is not going to die if they make $15K a year.  Apartments can be had for $400 a month and no one is going to die if they do not have air conditioning and heating. Fuel costs are less, food is relatively cheap.  Most places will open public building in the summer.

        I understand that most people in MN make at least $7.25, and that part of the lower rate is the tip credit. But there is still a need for a livable wage. And there is a reason, beyond lack of jobs, that Texas has so many teachers from MN.

        •  But you don't have the context of the legislative (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, Jervill, mchristi314

          session.  This is just ONE of many, many bills the DFL has gotten through the legislature.  They couldn't get the absolute max on every one of them.  They've gotten a remarkable amount done without giving the Republicans a lot to attack them with by skillfully going for the most they could get and making a few concessions that look reasonable to the public.  

          Minnesotans like can do government but we're a bit passive aggressive and don't like it when people look like they're reaching for too much.  

        •  tip credit (0+ / 0-)

          While federal law allows a tip credit against minimum wage, Minnesota law does not. Tipped employees in Minnesota are guaranteed the applicable minimum (including those who are covered by the $7.25 federal minimum). That is to say, if an employee is covered by the federal minimum, they will be paid at least $7.25 per hour plus their tips. If they aren't covered by the federal minimum, they will be covered in the same way by the state minimum wage law, paying at least that much in addition to tips.

      •  "Reasonable concessions" ??? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        Ya sure, because throwing a few scraps to slightly lessen hunger and poverty is so "reasonable."

        It's really pathetic what Democrats are willing to call a win these days, especially where poverty is concerned.

        God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

        by JayRaye on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:10:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Minnesota isn't New York or California (4+ / 0-)

          Democrats could pass the highest wage in the country and get defeated when Republicans run on the DFL setting the highest wage in the country, what do they they're doing, we're not New York.....OR..... they could do what they did and raise the minimum wage in a way that the voters will view as reasonable and get reelected so they can do more of what they did since 2012 - raise taxes on the rich, lower taxes on the middle class, increase funding for education, freeze tuition, increase infrastructure spending, fund MNSURE the healthcare exchange, provide labor protection for childcare workers, pass marriage equality......

          Wake me when Congress has a record like that.

          •  Please don't lecture me about Minnesot (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Anne Elk, gooderservice

            I was born and raised in Minnesota, I was a DFL activist in Minnesota for many years, a delegate to conventions.

            What I think we should do is STOP being reasonable on the subject of poverty.

            PERIOD.

            POVERTY KILLS

            it is not something to be reasonable about.

            Yell holler stamp our feet

            And tell the Republicans they are a bunch of heartless bastards.

            That's what I think we should do.

            And for sure cut the crap about
            "Congratulations Minnesota" for this piece of shit bone being throw at poverty-wage workers.

            And then Dems wonder why so many poor people don't vote when the Dems are only too willing to be "reasonable" at their expense?

            God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

            by JayRaye on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:31:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't know how you missed out on passive (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Minnesota Mike

              aggressive then dontcha know.  "Yell, holler stamp our feet" is not "Minnesota nice".  That's never been how progressive stuff gets done in Minnesota.  That's not Humphrey, Mondale, Wellstone, Franken.   Democrats win in Minnesota most of the time.  When they don't, it's because the folks think they've gotten carried away in "the cities" and Minneapolis is trying to run the state, we'll send them a message, let them know they've gone too far for the folks in Bird Island and New Ulm.

              •  Um...I heard Wellstone holler plenty! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice

                Particularly where injustice was involved. I put in long hours on that campaign.

                Yeah, right, leave people go hungry just to make sure we don't go "too far."

                And there was nothing "Minnesota nIce" about the strikes that made MN a union state. Esp the Teamster strike of 1934.

                And then it was those very unMinnesota-nIce unions that gave Wellstone the labor endorsement which made him a viable candidate.

                Minnesota nIce is over-rated.

                The only way working people have ever moved ahead is by fighting for justice, not by Swallowing Crap and calling it a victory.

                But hey, go right on ahead, Dems, keep right on making your Minnesota nIce concessions with the lives of poor people, and keep right on breaking your arms patting yourselves on the back for your pathetic "victories" where poor people are concerned, and keep right on wondering why so many poor people don't bother to vote.

                God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                by JayRaye on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 01:13:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The 4th lowest poverty rate IS a victory (0+ / 0-)

                  As I said above, Minnesota ranks 4th lowest in poverty and to me THAT is the real victory where poor people are concerned -- a state with an economy where there are few poor people.  

                  Why don't you go beat up on the 46 states that rank below us?

                  •  Why don't you go into the poor neighborhoods (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gooderservice

                    and tell poor people how all they deserves from the Dems is slightly less poverty?

                    Oh and they should consider that a great victory!!!

                    Congratulations indeed.

                    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                    by JayRaye on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 01:46:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And make sure you explain it all to them (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      gooderservice

                      how grateful they are required to be for being the ones whose lives were put on the bargaining table when the great "reasonable, MN nIce, concession was made.

                      God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                      by JayRaye on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 02:13:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  If the DFL wants no seats outside MSP (3+ / 0-)

              Then yes, we'll try your strategy.  Of course, then we'll have Republican majorities that will keep the minimum wage at super low levels in addition to hyper conservative social legislation that happens.  We already have an example of this, it's called Wisconsin.

              Making concessions is necessary to win fiscally moderate suburban seats, not it isn't ideal, but we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

              MN-01, long time lurker

              by Jervill on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:54:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is nothing good about poverty wages. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice

                A little history lesson: back in the days when Democrats stood with labor (working poor are a part of the labor movement), the DFL dominated the state.

                It's your strategy, not mine, that is costing the Democrats in the state.

                God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                by JayRaye on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 01:16:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Suuuuuuuure (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Minnesota Mike, mchristi314

                  Just keep telling yourself that.  Nevermind the actual reasons are a bit more complex (Roe v. Wade, many would be left wing voters economically cannot get past that).  Or the fact that the Iron Range has been shedding population for decades lessening the amount of seats the DFL can win; or that there are more wealthy/middle-income voters in the state in many of the suburban areas (because of DFL policies, of course).

                  Hell, I'd prefer a guaranteed minimum income of all things, but I actually have the ability to recognize that in politics, change happens slowly, irritatingly at times, and not to piss on improvements, no matter how small they are.  The best thing to do is continue to push forward for it, and acknowledge that the change is still a step (crawl, maybe) forward.

                  MN-01, long time lurker

                  by Jervill on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 01:55:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Keep telling yourself that we are moving "forward" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gooderservice

                    you are dreaming, we aren't.

                    working class people are falling further and further behind, and this pathetic slop of scrapes thrown at working people will not stop that decline, doesn't even come close.

                    This type of heartless nonsense is why I no longer put myself out working for the Democratic Party.

                    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                    by JayRaye on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 02:00:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  more self-defeating than productively helping (0+ / 0-)
                      This type of heartless nonsense is why I no longer put myself out working for the Democratic Party.
                      And this actually works against the progressive version because a) it makes it doesn't help the Democratic Party win elections, and thus could make it easier for Republican Party domination of politics; b) it means that your voice in pushing Democratic Party elected officials to address this issues you care about, including issues of poverty and working class people, has largely left the field.
                      •  yeah right (0+ / 0-)

                        45 years of working my ass off for Democrats and getting no good results for the working class, that's what I call self-defeating.

                        In fact all that effort and all we working and poor people have to show for it is that we have steadily lost ground.

                        That's what I call self-defeating.

                        No More. 45 years of that crap is 45 years too many.

                        God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                        by JayRaye on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 08:26:59 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  You mean when the Democrats actually (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JayRaye

                  had leaders who fought for The People.

                  back in the days when Democrats stood with labor
                  Cheering for crumbs does not a leader make.

                  Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

                  by gooderservice on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 03:41:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Good points, but I think lacking context (0+ / 0-)

              Poverty is a detriment to life and health. That isn't in doubt. The minimum wage, even when the new Minnesota rates take full effect, is still not sufficient. I agree. Passing this doesn't mean that the fight should end, or that we should give up because, well, this much has been done.

              But, Minnesota did just pass the highest minimum wage in the country. It will be phased in over the next few years. I can understand impatience with that. But the fact is that no other state has yet set their minimums as high as Minnesota has as of August 2016. And this rate will then be indexed to inflation starting in 2017. That itself is a major win.

              Hopefully people of all stripes can keep working against poverty, including increasing minimum wages even higher. We don't have to say it is enough to also see it as a move in the right direction that should be seen as a good thing, even a win along the way.

              •  Minnesota just undercut the national effort (0+ / 0-)

                to set the minimum wage at $10.10 and even that does not equal what the minimum wage was worth years ago.

                So even $10.10 is not a step forward, but only slightly lessens the great push backward that poor and working people have suffered the past 40 years.

                Nothing to celebrate, and poor and working people should stop accepting that the scraps thrown at them are any kind of "victory."

                The Republicans want to crush us, the Democrats want to placate us and then shut us up by telling us to "celebrate" our "victories."

                Are those the only two choices that we should accept?

                God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                by JayRaye on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 08:36:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How does MN undercut national? (0+ / 0-)

                  How do you figure Minnesota's increase to a level higher than any state currently has somehow undercuts a national effort to raise the minimum wage?

                  I know it's not in line with inflation, and certainly not in line with increases in productivity. All of us, not just the working class, have slid backwards in terms of earnings relative to cost of living. Unless your one of this at the top, that is. But getting this passed here doesn't mean that's the end of the discussion, either in Minnesota or anywhere else. It's not like any of these are settled from hence forth and forever more. So why blast them as if they are? Why not take the step forward, even if it is still inadequate, doesn't measure up to the buying power of the minimum wage decades ago, or isn't as far as one would like it to go?

                  If we agitate for everything we want or nothing at all, we will always end up with nothing at all. Politics is always about doing what can be done, and that is almost always incremental. However painful that is in the mean time, it's a reason to fight for the what is possible and keep on fighting for the better.

                  I find this attitude that if it isn't perfect, if it isn't exactly what is wanted or needed, it's bad and not worth doing to be utterly defeatist and unrealistic.

          •  MN did pass the highest minimum wage (0+ / 0-)

            The highest minimum wage (on the state level) in the country is currently $9.32 in Washington. Oregon has the second highest at $9.10 per hour. No other states have one at or equal to $9.00. Both New York and California have theirs set at $8.00. As of August, Minnesota's rate will match that of New York and California. It will exceed their rates in August 2015, and be the third highest. In August 2016, it will be the highest in the country, unless others raise their even higher in the meantime. Some local governments might have higher minimums, like San Francisco does.

    •  Fed sets the floor (3+ / 0-)

      The Federal Min. wage sets the floor. If a state has a higher Min. wage, that takes over, but no state can pay less than the federal level.

      But there are some things that make Minnesota even under the old law better than say Wisconsin. I was a server in college in both states. Wisconsin has a server Min. wage of $3.00 or so because we get tips. Minnesota says you need to get at least the Fed. min wage.

      I'm celebrating especially linking it to inflation. That was a huge deal for us here

    •  Minnersoder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BMScott

      (Native here.)  Folks there will just spend that extra cash on lutefisk and Campbell's soup for casseroles, er, hot dishes.

      Snark here in case you didn't guess?

    •  Minnesota did do something good here (0+ / 0-)

      There is something to celebrate. It will move us toward a target that would be the highest state mandate in the nation, unless others leap frog over Minnesota in the meantime.

      As to your particular comments:

      Minnesota last raised the minimum wage in 2005, when the current $6.15 was above the federal minimum at the time. The federal government raised rates in three steps in 2008-2010; the federal minimum became higher than, and largely superseding, the Minnesota rate in 2009. No one was getting away with paying a minimum wage lower than the federal minimum, unless the federal law didn't apply.

      The timing of these changes has a great deal to do with political timing and elections, especially control of legislatures. Minnesota saw a legislature under far-right control after the 2010 elections, swinging back to full DFL control with the 2012 elections.

      The minimum wage continues to be inadequate, but I do think it's better to get this change in the law than none at all. I believe the increments over three years were meant to make it more politically palatable and to tame potential opposition, which would have been much more ferocious had it gone to $9.50 immediately this August.

      The biggest thing to celebrate here is that the indexing for inflation was won. It almost derailed the whole thing, as there were some even in the DFL who were not so sure about it. I suspect the problem was more that it would tend to make it less of a political thing both in terms of using it as a stick against Republicans and as a carrot enticing support for DFLers.

      There is a helpful chart of Minnesota and federal minimum wage history at http://www.minnpost.com/...

  •  Good! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sow hat

    So Wisconsin Walkeroids were playing the underdefined middle game of Minnesota having both lower minumum wage and lower unemployment.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:13:24 AM PDT

    •  And speaking of Wisconsin, (5+ / 0-)

      whenever I hear folks talk about how there's no difference between the two parties I always ask them to look to Minnesota and Wisconsin. Two side by side states, same midwestern culture, totally different governance with the advantages to living in blue Minnesota enormous and many in ways that effect people's every day lives.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:22:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  TRUE absolutely n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay, Stude Dude, mchristi314

        I look out and all I can see is white.

        by Andy Cook on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:59:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I grew up in Minnesota and never thought (5+ / 0-)

        we shared "the same midwestern culture" with Wisconsin.  We always thought of Minnesota as Scandinavian and Wisconsin as German. I've no idea how accurate that was or is, but I definitely don't think of those two as the same.

        Indeed, when I moved to North Dakota as an adult it became very clear that there were differences in the two cultures -- In North Dakota, the Scandinavians dominated the northern tier of counties and the Germans the "triangle" with Bismarck (in the center of the State) at its apex and the two southern corners marking the triangle's base.  Very different cultures in those two county clusters in ND.  

        It was the northern counties that created the Non-Partisan League that in turn created the State Mill and Elevator and the State Bank in North Dakota. The German counties are, to this day, by far more conservative than the northern counties. That's where Senator Heidi Heitkamp hails from, by the way.

        The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

        by Alice Olson on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:07:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Spot on! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude

          It's no accident Michele Bachmann's district is the most German.  Subtle difference in culture.  The German Catholics also seem to be more socially conservative in a meaner way than the Irish and Italians.  

        •  WI has a lot more catholics and seems more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude, mchristi314

          conservative than Minnesota. As a native Minnesotan who went to school in Madison, Wisconsin, I was shocked at the differences.

          President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

          by askew on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:25:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I grew up and went to school in Madison, WI (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude, mchristi314

          moved to the Twin Cities in my twenties and have been here since. Perhaps my view is skewed by having grown up in liberal Madison. Or perhaps it is urban vs. rural. Both of these are not small factors.

          But having lived in both states all my life, and gotten around in both of them plenty, I would not say the cultures are "very different." Yes, Wisconsin has more German ethnicity and Minnesota more Scandinavian, but we are talking about 5 generations from the root and a younger generation that in most cases has very little ties to either, except maybe at holidays when the traditions come out.

          I will say that Wisconsin has a more schizophrenic history having given us both Robert La Follette and Joe McCarthy. Still, I guess it depends on how wide of a spectrum you want to talk about cultural differences. I would say there are far greater comparisons to be had culturally between other states.

          In any case my point remains. The difference between the Democratic governance in Minnesota and Scott Walker's Wisconsin is huge.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 03:44:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I also am thinking about how this will be used (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sow hat, Stude Dude

      in WI.  Hope it helps create better turnout in Nov.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:23:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Capping the inflationary increase and reserving (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice Olson

    the right to suspend it altogether is really depressing. Not to mention the long phase in.  This is supposed to be progressive?

    •  Umm..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Mike, mchristi314

      In the welter of states and cities that have been raising their minimum wages in the past 2 or three years:

      a) how many of them/which ones have raised their wages ALL AT ONCE, the whole shmear to whatever the final number is? Are you saying no other state is phasing in the minimum wage increase over time? Are you saying the federal minimum wage is never phased in with stages?

      b) how many of them/which ones have actually added an AUTOMATIC inflation adjustment mechanism?

      c) how many/which ones recognized IN LAW that small businesses have different labor cost structures than larger businesses and that this needs to be allowed for in minimum wage legislation?

      d) in case of economic downturn (which, despite progressive fever dreams, the business cycle of expansion, contraction, recession, recovery has not yet been repealed) would you advocate that businesses that are facing falling sales and profits becoming losses be REQUIRED to RAISE wages for least paid? Won't they lay these people off even faster than they would otherwise?
            If this is such a great concern, then why not go to work on the laws and regulations that ENCOURAGE layoffs during downturns, and rebuild them along the German model?
      Example: A company has 100 line workers. A recession hits the general economy and this firm as well and sales/revenues are down 10%. To bring costs in line with shrunken income what should the firm do?
            The typical American response is "lay off 10 workers." Thereby labor costs are down 10% and are back in line with reduced revenues.
            The German response is "reduced everyone's hours from 40 hours/week to 36 hours." Thereby labor costs are down 10% and are back in line with reduced revenues. BUT, while hard times have hit everyone, everyone has KEPT THEIR JOB. They are NOT collecting unemployment. They are NOT visiting the church food bank or the state "job center" or sending out resumes or .......

      So is the Minnesota wage raise progressive? Compared to who?

      Shalom.

      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 02:13:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        a) It's the length of the phase in (compared to the amount of total increase), not the existence of a phase in that I have a problem with.

        b) I thought most of them do - of the ones that have raised theirs in the last couple years.

        c) That I'm not sure about. On the other hand, if a business can't survive paying a barely-liveable wage, I don't really care if it survives or not.

        d) In the event of a downturn prices tend to fall as well which would mean a smaller inflationary increase.  As well, just because there is a downturn doesn't mean employees stop needing to do things like eat and have shelter.  But I am with you on the German model on hours - it's a pretty good model to emulate.

        On the question of "compared to who," I am comparing it to the already inadequate Obama proposal to raise it to $10.10 would only bring to the poverty line (which is itself set far too low) if enacted NOW.  $9.50 in a couple years would not. We could also get into comparing it to some European countries, some Canadian provinces, etc.  If I were a Minnesota legislator with only the option of voting yes or no on this, I would vote yes.  But choosing this over doing nothing does not make this great.

        •  Well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mchristi314

          A) according to the US Dept. of Labor here

          In 1949 Congress raised the MW from 40 cents to 75 cents/hr. in one jump.

          In 1955 they raised it to $1/hr. (6 years later.)

          In 1961 it was raised to $1.15/hr. and (in the same bill) raised to $1.25 TWO years later in 1963.

          In 1966 (5 years later) Congress engaged in a frenzy of raisings: effective in 1969 (3 years later) the MW would go to $1.30/hr, then to $1.45 in 1970 and to $1.60 in 1971.

          In 1974 Congress struck again, raising the MW to $2.00/hr, $2.10 in 1975 and $2.30 in 1976.

          In 1977 Congress came back with a 4 year package: $2.65 in 1978, $2.90 in 1979, $3.10 in 1980 and $3.35 in 1981.

          Exhausted from the effort (or whipped into submission by the new Reagan administration) Congress waited until RR was gone, then in 1989 decreed that for 1990 the MW would go to $3.80 in 1990 and $4.25 in 1991.

          Not until 1996 would Congress act again, then raising the MW IN THE SAME YEAR as 1996 to $4.75 and to $5.15 in 1997.

          It stalled there until 2007, when Pelosi & Reid had enough muscle to raise the MW in the face of the Bushistas: to $5.85 in 2007, to $6.55 in 2008 and to the current $7.25 in 2009.

          SOOoooo, at the federal level you need to go back to 1955 for when the federal MW was raised in ONE STEP to its new target. Some of those phase in lengths (your concern) were FAR longer than what MN is enacting with this bill.
          _______

          B) Now, according to the National Council of State Legislatures chart here CA, DE, DC, CT, WV, NY and MD have all passed state wide MW increases. ONLY DC added the provision to index the wage thereafter to inflation.
                 So I guess we can't count CA, DE, CT, WV, MD or NY as "progressive" states because they didn't do this, right?
          OTOH, since MN DID do so, does that make this place "more progressive." But then, what about AZ, CO, FL, MO, MT, NV, NJ, OH, OR, VT, & WA who all do or have enacted such indexing? Not all these states are progressive/blue/liberal, so is indexing for inflation a progressive thing or not?
          _
          __
          C) You said, "OTOH if a business can't survive paying a barely-liveable wage"......which is changing the subject completely. Living wage legislation is another subject entirely, and the MN lege, as well as Congress and the other 49 states have NOT taken this up.
                You can argue they SHOULD (and I agree), and the referendum win in SeaTac for a $15/hr. wage is a promising development, but it is still a different subject.

          ______
          D) Yes, in a recession prices have some tendency to fall but wages are slower to react. Not many businesses want to (or even try to) pay their employees a wage that fluctuates with last week's or last month's sales.
                And yes, the Germans are onto something with their model and if we could get over our NIMBY-ness we could put it to good use.

          Finally, NO, this is "not great." It is NOT a Living Wage. It is NOT the end of poverty. It is NOT the end of corporatocracy. But it is also NOT a win for the GOP greedheads. It is SOMETHING for the poor and distressed. NO, it is not enough, but it is more than nothing. It is NOT worth a major celebration but it IS worth at least one cheer from the stands. AND, since it is indexed to inflation, it means we do NOT need to revisit this whole fight again in 3 or 5 or 8 years, but rather we might even then START to talk about things like a Living Wage, reining in Wall Street, a financial transaction tax, an SEC rule that limits any publicly traded company from paying (total compensation) its highest paid employees (ie the CEO) more than 100X (or should it be 50X? 200X? Let's debate it) than its lowest paid employee (including the "independent contractors" who sweep the floors overnight.)

          Shalom.

          "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

          by WineRev on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 06:36:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Alright. (0+ / 0-)

            With regard to labeling states, it wasn't my intention to do so (in the sense of declaring the whole state progressive or not progressive). Sorry if it seemed like I was doing that.  About the phase in: I'm okay with it if the end amount at which you stop the increases and start indexing is a reasonable number, which I don't think it is here (and you seem to agree).  

            As you note, history is filled with a failure to really get the minimum wage to a sufficient level.  But we aren't even going to get back to where the minimum wage was in the 1960s (adjusted for inflation).

            I like your last paragraph, I just don't share your optimism.  What I worry about is that the issue will be deemed "settled" because of indexation and there won't be pushes in the direction you're talking about. I'm not saying blow the deal up - I just worry about complacency if indexation starts depoliticizing wages.  I also worry that the clause about suspending the increases could set the stage for even more unequal recoveries from recessions (if that's even possible!).

        •  compare with last federal increase (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RabbleON
          a) It's the length of the phase in (compared to the amount of total increase), not the existence of a phase in that I have a problem with.
          The Minnesota increase is to $9.50 over three steps. If you take the base to be current federal minimum, the increase is $2.25. The largest step in the phase in will be in 2015 at a full dollar increase.

          The federal minimum was last increased from $5.15 to $7.25. That was an increase of $2.10 per hour. It was also phased in over three steps. The largest steps were 70 cents.

          You might still find it too slow, but it's not especially slow in comparison to the last federal change.

        •  choosing this over doing nothing? (0+ / 0-)
          But choosing this over doing nothing does not make this great.
          You would rather do nothing than make an increase like this? Or you would rather do nothing than cap inflationary increases and allow a respite when business are being squeezed (and squeezing them more could mean more of a downturn as people are laid off)?

          I'm not sure I can possibly go there with you.

          Or am I misunderstanding that comment?

  •  Wow, and this from the state of Michelle Bachmann! (0+ / 0-)
  •  yay! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 11:59:16 AM PDT

  •  Yes, way overdue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mchristi314

    Minnesota is a high cost of living state, so the min. wage increase is way overdue.  In general, this state has decent wages, but like most places, they have slipped compared to inflation.  One thing to look at, is what is the minimum wage for somebody getting tips, supposedly, with their job.  I don't know what it currently is in MN.  But there still are states that pay $2.13/hour for those who "may" get tips.  The same type of restaurant, but in another state, will pay whatever is minimum in that state.

    I look out and all I can see is white.

    by Andy Cook on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:02:27 PM PDT

    •  no tip credit (0+ / 0-)

      Minnesota does not allow a tip credit against the minimum, be it a state minimum or a federal minimum. So the tipped employee will get at least minimum wage plus tips. That isn't changing with this increase.

      I'm please with that. The tip credit is, as far as I'm concerned, immoral.

      •  tip credit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mchristi314

        Immoral, yup. My son worked for Olive Garden in NC for the $2.13/hour. Newby workers get the lunch shift, where so many order soup and a breadstick. Low wage areas don't produce high tippers.

        My daughter worked as a server in CO. She said that they were paid $4/hour. They took home cash for their tips at the end of the day. She said her usual paycheck was $5. I could never understand that math.

        I look out and all I can see is white.

        by Andy Cook on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 01:37:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  While any increase is good, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, gooderservice

    By my math this means that MN minimum wage will (at 40 hours per week) exceed current poverty levels - In late 2020.

    Our government is not yet small enough to drown in a bathtub. That doesn't mean it can't be waterboarded.

    by furrfu on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:24:54 PM PDT

  •  Increasing the minimum wage saves taxpayers $ on (0+ / 0-)

    food stamps, health care costs, and more.  

    Does anyone have a good source for a quantification of the savings? Frankly, it'd be great to get the people who care only about the money on board with increasing the minimum wage.

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