Wage hike compromise will leave Upstate workers lagging behind

Apr 6, 2016

The so-called "historic" increase in the state's minimum wage will likely disappoint some workers. The amount of the pay hike will vary based on the worker's location in New York State.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says a minimum wage hike could not have been imagined a year ago.
Credit WBFO News File Photo

While elected officials have been touting the increase in New York state's minimum wage "as historic,"local residents may never make the much talked about $15 an hour.

Under the deal in Albany, the minimum wage will increase across upstate to $9.70 at the end of 2016, and keep rising until it hits $12.50 an hour in four-and-a-half years. After that the increases will continue to $15.00 on an "indexed schedule." However, beginning in 2019 a "safety valve" allows increases to be "temporarily suspended" if the region's economy slows.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul says wages are still going up thousands of people.

That's something nobody could have expected even a year ago. I think that is a good news story that is a success for people in Upstate," Hochul said. 

The minimum wage in New York City will increase to $15 an hour by the end of 2018. Hochul says it's a good compromise that recognizes the needs of upstate employers.