[NFBWATLK] a victory for disabled workers in Seattle

Judy Jones sonshines59 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 01:05:56 UTC 2018



-----Original Message-----
From: NFBWATLK [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Marci Carpenter via NFBWATLK
Sent: Monday, April 2, 2018 8:14 PM
To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List' List'
Cc: Marci Carpenter
Subject: [NFBWATLK] a victory for disabled workers in Seattle

I am very happy to report that the Seattle City Council voted unanimously today to eliminate a section of city law which allowed disabled workers to be paid sub-minimum wages. We had been trying to get this change ever since learning that it was put into Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage law 3 years ago. Council member Teresa Mosqueda, a labor rights proponent, recently decided to bring an ordinance before the council. It all happened very fast. Shaun Bickley, Co Chair of the Mayor’s Commission for People with Disabilities, convinced his fellow Commission members to support the change last year. Then the City’s Office of Labor Standards issued a rule-making last Fall. I learned last week that Councilmember Mosqueda’s committee would hear the proposed ordinance late last week. It passed and was then put on a fast track for full Council adoption today. Tanna Dieken and I spoke in support of this during the Public Comment period at the Council meeting today. Other members submitted written testimony via email. Shaun and some other disabled folks also spoke. There were no speakers against the ordinance! 

There will be a bill signing with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin. As soon as I know when that will be I will put to the word. Hopefully we will have a little more lead time so more of our members can attend that ceremony. Below is the language from today’s Council agenda and some remarks from Councilmember Mosqueda.

The city of Seattle is now prepared to have their intergovernmental affairs team work with us to pass a state law banning the payment of sub-minimum wages statewide.

It is only through the work of the National Federation of the Blind that these changes are happening. It is because of the Federation, and our hard work to gain the support of other disability groups, that we will make this the law everywhere.

Language from the city Council agenda:  CB 119220 AN ORDINANCE relating to the Office of Labor Standards; amending Section 14.19.025 of the Seattle Municipal Code to remove the authority to pay a subminimum wage to people with disabilities as set forth in RCW 49.46.060(2).

Quote from Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda: “Today, by voting to eliminate the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities, we strengthen our City’s belief that all work has dignity and that all workers should be able to earn at least the minimum wage,” said Councilmember Mosqueda. “It’s already challenging to make ends meet for low-wage workers living and working in Seattle, and even more so if one is not afforded the right to earn at least the City’s minimum wage.”

NFBWATLK mailing list
NFBWATLK at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for NFBWATLK:

More information about the NFBWATLK mailing list