Living Wage

If you have a job and work to care for your family, pay your bills and simply survive then you need a living wage.... We all deserve a living wage...

Are you Earning a Living Wage?

In Florida the 2013 state minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour. Minimum wage workers in the sunshine state earn a total of $290.00 per week, or $15,080.00 per year.

The "Living Wage" is not the minimum wage. The "Living Wage" is the minimum cost that covers the basic needs of an individual and the needs of their family without government assistance.

A "Living Wage" is considered a decent wage because it provides for the possibility of upward mobility. It allows an individual to take pride in their work rather than endure the endless cycle of poverty. Estimates of the annual income required for a “Living Wage” assumes the employer provides health care coverage – which is not true for many ESP members.

A living wage can be compared to a floor, not a ceiling! A living wage does not include any amount for savings (retirement, education or any other personal expenses) or any provision for insurance (such as renter’s insurance) or for luxury items, such as eating a meal outside of the home.

Most ESPs are earning the minimum wage. The minimum wage gives employers a guideline as to the legal least amount paid to employees. Many employers are opposed to seeing it rise. The problem is the minimum wage amounts to roughly half of what the projected “Living Wage” is in any given area. Without additional assistance, it means school district paychecks are forcing many of our ESPs to live close to or below the poverty line.

Raising the minimum wage to twice the national amount would bring workers to just above the poverty line. We must continue to advocate for higher pay for ESPs.

Living Wage Resources

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When Earning a Living Wage Requires a Fight

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