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NH Citizens Alliance Testifies For Eliminating The Tipped Minimum Wage

The Executive Director Of The NH Citizens Alliance Makes The Case For Eliminating The Tipped Minimum Wage

NH Citizens Alliance

Yesterday Kary Jencks testified to the NH House Labor committee in support of HB 1346 a bill to eliminate the tipped minimum wage.  Below is her written testimony to the committee:

Submitted Testimony To The NH House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee, January 19th, 2016.

Kary Jencks

Kary Jencks

Organization Background: New Hampshire Citizens Alliance (NHCA) is a 501(c)3 state wide non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to social, economic, racial, and political justice. Our membership comprises over 20,000 Granite Staters from both sides of the aisle. After nearly 40 years NH Citizens Alliance continues to lead the movement for social and economic justice in the Granite State. We focus on creating a more engaged electorate through issue education, leadership development and voter engagement and mobilization. We work on local, state, and federal issues and have built a strong reputation for advocating for policies that invest in people over profits, including access to quality, affordable health care and smart budget investments.

Central to our work is a women’s economic justice framework. This is because women are central to our families and our economy. We know that more women than ever are working outside the home, heading households and leading in the workplace. Therefore, we must take action now to ensure that women have equal rights and receive fair treatment on the job, in health care and in the new economy.

Instead of limiting reproductive rights, voting rights and protecting outdated workplace policies that discriminate against women, our priority in New Hampshire is to guarantee full and fair opportunities for women in the new economy and take care of their families.

NHCA Testimony in SUPPORT of HB 1346:

  • New Hampshire must begin to Stand with the women and families who are working hard every day trying to meet the basic needs of their children. In the restaurant industry this scenario is especially true for women where nationally 66% of tipped workers are women and 21% of tipped workers in New Hampshire are parents.
  • Since the majority of tipped waged workers are women and mothers providing for their families, paying them a sub-minimum wage is supporting legislated pay inequity thus perpetuating the gender equity gap. New Hampshire can do better for working women and their families.
  • Furthermore, sub-minimum wage requires tipped workers to garner the bulk of their wages from gratuities. This system often results in women having to simply “shut up and put up” with harassment on the job to secure their income. The restaurant industry accounts for 37% of sexual harassment claims. New Hampshire can do better for working women and stop supporting the view that sexual harassment is a huge Human Resource issue in every other work setting except in the restaurant industry where it is viewed as “part of the job.”
  • Tipped workers live in poverty at more than twice the rate of the workforce in New Hampshire. This results in 7% of New Hampshire tipped restaurant workers using food stamps and an $8,731,054 annual cost to New Hampshire tax payers of tipped restaurant workers in New Hampshire relying on food stamps and Medicaid. Meanwhile the House will soon debate how to cover much needed reauthorization of Medicaid expansion. The biggest issue for reauthorization is the 10% of the total cost the state of New Hampshire will be required to cover. Let’s pay our workers the worth of their jobs and move New Hampshire women and families off of public assistance; saving our tax payer dollars and in turn allowing our state to cover its 10% share to provide critical health coverage to those who need it most.
  • Please Stand with Women and New Hampshire Families and vote HB 1346 Ought to Pass.

Thank you for your time and dedication to New Hampshire.

Sincerely,

Kary Jencks, Executive Director – NHCA

 

Paycheck Fairness Advocates Applaud House Vote to Approve the NH Paycheck Fairness Act

 

Equal Pay for Equal Work (lilly ledbetter act)Paycheck Fairness Act has one last stop at House Criminal Justice Committee before being sent to Governor’s desk 

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 187 to 134 today to pass SB 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act. The entire Democratic caucus present* and eleven House Republicans joined the unanimous and bi-partisan vote from the Senate in support of the legislation that will eliminate loopholes, increase transparency in wages, and ensure that all workers have the appropriate tools and resources to help them earn a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation. The legislation has one last stop at the House Criminal Justice Committee and another floor vote before being sent to the Governor’s desk; Governor Maggie Hassan has previously indicated her support for the bill.

The NH AFL–CIO, NH Citizens Alliance for Action, Granite State Progress, NH Civil Liberties Union, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the New Hampshire Women’s Initiative, Women’s Fund of New Hampshire, and the National Women’s Law Center applaud the New Hampshire House’s bi-partisan adoption of SB 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act. The organizations released the following statements on today’s House vote:

Mark MacKenzie, President, New Hampshire AFL-CIO: “We applaud the 187 members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives who today stood with working families by voting to pass the New Hampshire Paycheck Equity Act. Senate Bill 207 will help close the gender wage gap in the Granite State by giving women access to the tools and information they need to make sure they are being paid fairly. New Hampshire AFL-CIO is proud to be a leader in the diverse coalition of women’s organizations, labor unions, and grassroots action groups that led the fight to win this important and timely progress for New Hampshire’s working women.”

Kary Jencks, Executive Director, NH Citizens Alliance for Action: “Today the NH House voted for a New Hampshire and an America that works for all of us, with liberty and justice for all.  Ensuring equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, heritage, or marital status is a critical component in protecting and expanding our state’s middle class and driving a successful economy.”

Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress: “We commend the House bipartisan adoption of the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act. This law will give employees the tools they need to challenge wage gaps and help create a climate where wage discrimination is no longer tolerated. We are eager to see the legislation move through the final steps in the House and then to the desk of paycheck fairness supporter Governor Maggie Hassan.”

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union: “Today the House took New Hampshire one step closer toward eliminating unfair gender paycheck inequities in our state. The New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act will help provide women with the tools they need to get fair pay in the workplace, and the NHCLU welcomes its passage by both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature.”

Dawn Andonellis, Public Policy Chair for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of New Hampshire: “Closing the wage gap in New Hampshire is an economic return on investment that will help to keep our college graduates, particularly women, in the state. We applaud the New Hampshire House for passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and for taking this important step toward ending gender discrimination in the workplace.”

Mary Jo Brown, Chair of the New Hampshire Women’s Initiative: “Today we have moved one giant step closer to eliminating the gender wage gap in New Hampshire. We would like to thank our stakeholder partners, the Senate and the legislative champions of SB 207 in the House for all of their hard work to make New Hampshire an even better place to retain employees and for all families across the state. We look forward to Governor Hassan signing this important piece of legislation.”

Marianne Jones, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of NH: “The paycheck transparency that is addressed in SB 207 is one more tool that can help minimize the persistent wage gap in New Hampshire. We know that this will ensure that women and girls prosper in the future, and that entire communities will have the potential to thrive.”

Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment at the National Women’s Law Center: “Pay discrimination is alive and well across America.  Millions of working women suspect they’re being paid less than their male counterparts but have no way of confirming it. And some don’t realize they’re being shortchanged because company policies prevent them from discussing their wages. We applaud the New Hampshire House for moving swiftly to improve their pay discrimination laws and call on Congress to follow its lead.”

SB 207 sponsors include all Senate Democrats along with House Speaker Terie Norelli, Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), Rep. MaryAnn Knowles (D-Hudson), and Rep. Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsboro).

 

* The sole House Democrat in opposition was Free State Project member Tim O’Flaherty.

Much Rejoicing As NH Senate Unanimously Passes Paycheck Fairness Bill

“This definitive, bipartisan action by the full Senate affirms that both Republicans and Democrats agree we must act to close the wage gap in New Hampshire,” said Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen.

Senate Bill 207 has been cited by Senate and House Democrats as a top priority for the 2014 legislative session. All Senate Democrats have sponsored the legislation with House Speaker Terie Norelli serving as the leading House sponsor along with co-sponsors Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), Rep. MaryAnn Knowles (D-Hudson), and Rep. Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsboro).

sylvia larsen

Senator Sylvia Larsen

“The New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act will give the more than 60% of women working in today’s economy, as the primary or co-breadwinners for their families, the much needed tools they need to combat the wage gap,” stated Larsen.

“It’s distressing that, in the year 2014, women in New Hampshire, who are working full-time jobs, still earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. National studies have found that a pay gap exists between men and women in nearly every occupation. However, with this bipartisan, unanimous vote, we are sending a crystal clear message that the Legislature is on the side of all workers guaranteeing fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.”

Senator Larsen concluded her statement by saying, “I look forward to a quick House action, so New Hampshire can renew our commitment to the fundamental principle of, an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.”

“Today’s unanimous Senate vote to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act is an overwhelming, bipartisan affirmation of the principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay,” stated Governor Maggie Hassan. “This common-sense measure to help eliminate the pay gap between women and men will strengthen our economy and the financial security of working families across our state. I applaud the Senate for today’s bipartisan vote and encourage the House to pass this critical legislation in order to help all of New Hampshire’s workers earn a fair and equal paycheck.”

“We commend members of the Senate for voting unanimously to remove a remaining barrier to pay equity in New Hampshire,” stated Mark MacKenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO. “Passing SB207 was the right thing to do for fairness and equality, and the right thing to do for the majority of Granite State working families who depend on women’s earnings to get by.”

“We commend the Senate’s unanimous adoption of the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act,” stated Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “This law would give employees the tools they need to challenge wage gaps. Data shows that New Hampshire women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Coupled with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act already in law, these two acts can help to create a climate where wage discrimination is no longer tolerated.”

Along with the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate, community groups helped push legislators to pass this Paycheck Fairness bill.  Below are statements from some of the other organizations celebrating today’s vote.

Kary Jencks, Executive Director, NH Citizens Alliance for Action: “The Senate recognized today that ensuring equal pay for equal work is important to protecting New Hampshire working families.  A woman’s earnings, whether she is married or not, are crucial to family support. Closing the wage gap is the right action for New Hampshire to take for the economic security of Granite Staters.”

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union: “We applaud the Senate’s bipartisan approval of the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act. In approving this critical legislation, the Senate has taken an important step towards eliminating unfair gender paycheck inequities in the state of New Hampshire.”

Dawn Andonellis, Public Policy Chair for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of New Hampshire: “We applaud the New Hampshire State Senate for passing the Paycheck Fairness Act in a bipartisan fashion and for taking this important step toward closing the wage gap and ending gender discrimination in the workplace. Moving this bill forward would give the women of New Hampshire a reason to actually celebrate Equal Pay Day on April 8. Finally, women are closer to achieving equal pay for equal work.”

Mary Jo Brown, Chair of the New Hampshire Women’s Initiative: “The New Hampshire Women’s Initiative applauds the Senate’s unanimous adoption of SB 207. SB 207 is a great step toward reducing the wage gap and promoting pay equity for all Granite Staters. The bill, which includes provisions towards paycheck transparency, honors NHWI’s agenda and findings from our 2013 statewide listening sessions with NH citizens. We are proud to thank Senator Larsen and her cosponsors for the bipartisan support of the bill. We are excited that the Senate has passed this important piece of legislation and look forward to working with the House.”

Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment at the National Women’s Law Center: “This bipartisan vote reflects the simple fact that giving women tools to combat pay discrimination and close the wage gap is a common sense solution that everyone should be able to get behind.”

The NH Senate was realistically the only hurdle this bill faced in getting passed in New Hampshire.  The GOP controlled Senate was the only truly unknown in this bills likelihood of passing.  The bill will now moved to the Democrat controlled house, where I should pass with ease.  I expect the Governor could be signing this bill before May first.

 

NH Progressive Summit: “Restoring Balance and Common Sense”

NH Progressives Summit 2013Granite State Progress and NH Citizens Alliance for Action will be co-hosting the 2013 NH Progressive Summit – an annual venue for new and existing activists to come together and collectively learn, train and mobilize for the many issues and electoral challenges we face. After outstanding support for last year’s summit, an even larger turn-out is anticipated this year. Last year’s theme was, “Fighting Back, Moving Forward.” This year’s theme is “Restoring Balance & Common Sense.”

This will be a full, exciting and inspiring program. Breakfast & lunch will be provided, as well as a social hour in the evening. The lunch panel debate will be on expanded gambling. We have made so much progress in the Granite State and we must continue to move forward together.

The Summit will be held at New England College in Henniker on May 4th. Tickets are $25 with pre-registration required. For more information, or to register please visit www.nhprogressivesummit.org.

The NH Citizens Alliance For Action To Host Community Conversations Throughout The State

The NH Citizens Alliance is hosting events across the state with members and activists to debrief the election’s results, make plans for the lame duck session in Congress, and strategize for 2013.

Can’t make it to this event? We have events on other nights in other cities as well. Check them out below.

Concord: Tuesday, 11/20 at our office at 4 Park Street, Suite 304. Email Gordon at gallen@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/116606795166148/.

Keene: Tuesday, 11/20 at 15 Eagle Square. Email Jamie at mandycapach@gmail.com for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/125003597657008/.

Manchester: Tuesday, 11/20 – YWCA NH, 72 Concord Street. Email Kary at kjencks@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/381204075298905/.

Nashua: Tuesday, 11/20 at 92 Main Street, Suite 103 (on the second floor). Email Jillian at jdubois@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/282903698478709/.

North Hampton: Wednesday, 11/ 28 at our temporary canvass office at 44 Lafayette Street, #6. Email Karen at kkelly@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/375446969206491/.

Peterborough: Monday, 11/19 at the Peterborough Town Library, 2 Concord Street. Email Natasha at perez_natasha@hotmail.com for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/338773506220345/.

Plymouth: Wednesday, 11/28 at the Pease Public Library. Email Olivia at ozink@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/299558923478958/.

Can’t get to any of the above locations, but still want to participate? Host a community conversation in your town! We will provide you with a facilitator’s guide and outline for the program as well as any materials you might need. To host your own community conversation, please email Sarah at swarner@nhcitizensalliance.org.

 

 

 

 

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