Hawaii workers need a higher minimum wage
Originally published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 9, 2019
Someone asked me recently whether the effort to raise the minimum wage would affect me adversely. I’m a quadriplegic needing 24-hour assistance.
Yes, a higher minimum wage would make it harder for me to compete for good attendants. I pay $15 an hour and that clearly brings more and better applicants than $10.10 had. I expect what I pay will have to keep rising. Nonetheless, I’d like people to be less strapped all the time, as mine are.
Three of my staff made a trip to my house recently just to get their checks. I don’t think they have any savings at all, which would scare me senseless. I’d be a nervous wreck every day. And these people are not right out of high school. They’re 30, 40, 50 years old, most have two or three jobs, and they need better pay.
I support an increase to at least $15 over the next five years.