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Monday, January 4, 2016

Andrew M. Cuomo
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled a further push towards making New York the first state in the nation to enact a $15 minimum wage for all workers, announcing that the State University of New York will raise the minimum wage for more than 28,000 employees, mirroring the phased-in schedule for fast food workers secured last year, as well as State Workers announced in October.

“This state thrives when every New Yorker has the opportunity and the ability to succeed. Yet the truth is that today’s minimum wage still leaves far too many people behind – unacceptably condemning them to a life of poverty even while they work full-time,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This year, we are going to change that. We are going to raise the minimum wage to bring economic opportunity back to millions of hardworking New Yorkers and lead the nation in the fight for fair pay.”

Attorney General Schneiderman added, "No one who works full time should have to live in poverty and no company should be allowed to abuse its workers. But when we allow poverty wages, we are sending the opposite message. Raising the minimum wage is an achievable, effective, direct way to improve the lives of millions of New Yorkers."

Upon approving the SUNY increase, more than 28,000 hourly paid staff, student workers, and work study participants will see their wages increase to $9.75 an hour beginning in February -- and ultimately reach $15 an hour on December 31, 2018 in New York City, and July 1, 2021 statewide, mirroring the increased schedule of fast food workers and state employees.

The SUNY Board of Trustees is expected to approve this increase in its minimum wage in its January board meeting. The increase is projected to cost approximately $28 million once fully implemented, and will be covered by SUNY.

"The State University of New York is proud to ensure that anyone working on a state-operated SUNY campus continues to be paid at least minimum wage, including all full-time staff as well as students participating in work study programs,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “We look forward to joining Governor Cuomo in setting a model for state entities and public university systems across the country."

A regional breakdown of the more than 28,000 SUNY employees who will benefit from this increase is below:

  • Western New York: 5,833
  • Finger Lakes: 2,989
  • Southern Tier: 2,960
  • Central NY: 4,106
  • Mohawk Valley: 1,768
  • North Country: 2,196
  • Capital Region: 1,985
  • Mid-Hudson Valley: 2,188
  • New York City: 598
  • Long Island: 3,918

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