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Miami-Dade Health Care Amendment Passes 12-1, Puts More Money in Worker's Pockets 4/5/2016

Victory for Thousands of Miami-Dade Contracted Employees Covered by the Living Wage Ordinance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2016
Jackie de Carvalho, jackie.decarvalho@seiufl.org561-287-2879

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Miami, Fla.– The Miami-Dade County Commission overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the Living Wage Ordinance today on a 12-1 vote, that increases wages to offset rising health care costs. This amendment will enable thousands of Miami-Dade contracted employees to have access to affordable healthcare for the first time in 15 years. Miami-Dade County contract workers have been struggling to afford basic medical expenses for years as the healthcare benefit lagged behind increased premium costs and exorbitant deductibles.

"While passing this amendment is a step in the right direction toward lifting working families out of poverty, there is still long way to go to win $15 an hour and union rights," said SEIU Florida President & 1199SEIU Executive VP Monica Russo. "Since Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature have failed the four million Floridians who make less than $15 an hour by refusing to hear legislation to raise the minimum wage, working families are pushing for living wage ordinances in counties and cities across the state. And, in the wake of millions of workers in California, New York and thousands in Pennsylvania winning historic pay increases to $15 an hour last week, there's no reason why Florida–the third largest state in the nation–can't be next."

Chairman Monestime showed tremendous leadership by introducing the amendment to the Living Wage Ordinance that will ultimately improve the lives of thousands of hard working Miami-Dade employees and he continues to be a true champion for working families by advocating for higher wages and better healthcare.

The living wage law has had a tremendous effect on raising standards and helping to create good jobs that benefit the Miami-Dade community. However, even with the living wage law in place, contractors still seek ways to maximize profits at the expense of workers. Labor groups including SEIU Florida, South Florida AFL-CIO, Teamsters Local 769 and community members will continue to work together to help Miami's hard working families receive the benefits and wages that they deserve. 

"We celebrate Miami-Dade County Commission’s leadership in their effort to raise worker standards,” said Helene O'Brien, Florida Director for 32BJ SEIU. "With the gridlock in federal and state governments, it is up to local elected officials to advance policies that help workers, the local economy, and communities. We commend the County Commission for doing so today.”

Floridians from industries across the spectrum including airport, healthcare, fast-food, child care and others are more determined than ever to demand lawmakers and candidates advocate for a $15 minimum wage and will join the largest ever nationwide day of strikes and protests for $15 and union rights in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Hollywood among other cities on April 14.

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