By Mike DeNardo
TRENTON, N.J., (CBS) — With the start of the New Year, the minimum wage went up in 14 states. But not New Jersey.
When New Jersey amended its constitution two years ago tying its minimum wage to the rate of inflation, the thinking was that cost-of-living raises would become almost automatic. But because the Consumer Price Index actually went down slightly last year, New Year’s Day brought NO raise for minimum-wage workers in New Jersey. The Garden State’s minimum wage remains at $8.38 an hour. Rob Duffey of the New Jersey Working Families Alliance is pushing for $15.
“It’s a realistic goal because other communities are actually stepping forward and doing it. You’re seeing it in San Francisco. You’re seeing it in Seattle, and you’re seeing it for fast food workers in New York. If it can happen there, it can happen in New Jersey,” said Duffey.
So far the New Jersey Legislature hasn’t shown much of a desire to tackle the issue again.
Duffey says he believes the problem is not linking wages to inflation — it’s that the minimum wage is still too low.