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Contact:  Rev. Rebekah Jordan
Executive Director
Workers Interfaith Network
3035 Directors Row,
Buidling B, Suite 1207
Memphis, TN 38131
Phone: 901-332-3570  or 901-332-3532

[Nashville Metro] Council approves $1.5B budget [with living wage]

By Michael Cass
The Tennessean, Jun 16 2010
The Metro Council overwhelmingly approved a $1.52 billion city-operating budget Tuesday that avoids a property tax increase and deep cuts in services, while giving government employees a 2 percent bonus.

The budget also fully funds the $633 million request made by the Metro school board, though many council members vehemently opposed the board's plan to privatize custodial and grounds-keeping services, a move expected to save $5 million.

Council Takes Up Living Wage

The Tennessean, Jun 15 2010
Critics of the size and reach of government lately may have left the impression that city, state and federal authorities are packing staffs and agencies with well-paid workers, draining the treasuries filled by hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

Faith and labor leaders make case for living wages

By Theresa Laurence
Tennessee Register, Sep 4 2009
As the country celebrates Labor Day on Sept. 7, a national holiday dedicated to the achievements of the American worker, many low wage employees will not be enjoying a relaxing day off. Instead, they will be cleaning hotels, washing dishes, and stocking shelves for $7.25 an hour.

A full time worker earning minimum wage, which was raised from $6.55 to $7.25 in July, will make only $15,080 annually before taxes.

Group wants minimum wage at $10 an hour

WKRN 2, Jul 24 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On the day the federal minimum wage increased from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour, one Nashville group says it should be $10 an hour.

The group Let Justice Roll rallied Friday at Legislative Plaza to make its point about pay.

Nashville Worker in Wall St. Journal Minimum Wage Story

By Kris Maher
Wall Street Journal, Jul 6 2009
Excerpt: The change is welcome to workers such as Walter Jasper, 48 years old, who earns $6.55 an hour at Shur Brite Hi Speed Car Wash in Nashville, Tenn. He has worked there for 14 years off and on. His wife earns $7 an hour working at a discount store and will also get an increase in her paycheck. Mr. Jasper said he and his wife will be late with their rent payment of $359 this month and that the extra income will be used to pay bills.

Measure To Ban Local Wage Increases Fails In House

AP, Apr 21 2009

A measure to prohibit local governments in Tennessee from imposing a minimum wage higher than the federal rate failed in a House subcommittee.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Charles Sargent of Franklin deadlocked on a 3-3 vote along partisan lines in the House Employee Affairs Subcommittee on Tuesday.

Council members take issue with legislators over living wage

By Nate Rau
Nashville City Paper, Apr 21 2009
Two at-large Metro Council members are pushing back at the state Legislature for pending legislation they say is inappropriate for Nashville and ought to be left to Council to decide.

Metro Council passed a memorializing resolution expressing its opposition to state legislation that would take away the ability for city and county legislative bodies to pass living wage laws.

Tennessee Living Wage Repeal Defeated; Momentum Builds for Nashville Living Wage

Apr 21 2009
"We only call it a 'recession' or 'depression' when it affects enough people, but many families have been working and living in poverty for too long. It's time we stop accepting poverty wages for anyone. Our work here in Tennessee is an important building block in the campaign to raise the federal minimum wage to $10 in 2010 and assure living wages for all workers."
-- Megan Macaraeg, Mid TN Jobs with Justice & Let Justice Roll
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