MiamiToday, SEIU Florida sent a letter to Florida's elected officials urging them to champion a $15 minimum wage and agree to live on minimum wage for five days as part of the "Minimum Wage Challenge" being launched this month.
SEIU Florida has pledged to exclusively endorse and make contributions to those who agree to both take the challenge and serve as champions of a $15 an hour minimum wage, which is quickly becoming a reality in localities across the country. Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles have all passed $15 an hour legislation and New York is expected give over 200,000 of the state's fast-food workers a pay bump to $15 an hour.
This announcement comes as state Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, and state Rep. Victor Torres, D-Orlando, are set to introduce a $15 minimum wage bill on September 17th in Tallahassee during a press conference. Senator Bullard will also announce that he's agreed to take the minimum wage challenge and he'll call on other elected officials to follow suit.
“I’m proud to introduce a bill to increase Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour because it's the right thing to do for so many families who are struggling just to get by. I also look forward to living on minimum wage for a week again as I did last year, and am encouraging all of my colleagues to do the same so they can understand what it feels like to live on poverty wages,” said State Senator Dwight Bullard.
"It's time for our elected officials to step up to the plate and not only support, but be champions for issues that impact Florida's working families. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour should be a no brainer for them as public support for raising wages is something that a majority of Floridians have consistently supported," said SEIU Florida President Monica Russo. "We need more champions for issues like this that will make a real difference in the every day lives of working families who are just trying to make ends meet. And, by agreeing to live on minimum wage for five days, these elected officials can show their solidarity with low wage workers while also putting a spotlight on this critical issue."
During the minimum wage challenge, set to launch on September 28th with press conferences across the state, those taking the challenge will document on social media the hard choices that they're forced to make each day with a focus on the cost of groceries and transportation.
SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees, and property service workers in the state of Florida. SEIU members provide vital public services in Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities. With over 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.