This is my letter to the editor, sent to my local papers as it is a local issue in a way. However, I imagine this kind of thing is happening all over the U.S.
Things I would do if I made a Living Wage:list below the orange squiggle...
I am not at the poverty line now, nor would making a Living Wage make me rich, but my life would be different if I was not consistently being short changed as I have been for the past 6-8 years. It’s kind of embarrassing to write this, but I’m doing it because I'm sure there are others like me.
1. I would replace my clothes when they had holes that could no longer be mended. Perhaps I would occasionally treat myself to a made in the USA organic cotton piece.
2. I would get my wobbly rear bike tire fixed.
3. I would still be buying groceries economically, but would be able to do it out of my checking account and not ever use my credit card.
4. I would have the two unusable light fixtures in my home fixed.
5. I would get my cats vaccinated on time.
6. I would take all the supplements that control my blood pressure regularly. Not being so worried about paying the bills might also help my blood pressure.
7. I might consider cable TV or dish again, honestly, I don’t miss it that much, but my sons do.
8. I would be able to get car repairs done in one trip, instead of having to pick the most urgent one and letting the rest wait.
9. I would replace the faucet that now needs a special technique to shut off all the way.
10. I would more easily be able to afford my mortgage, which is now about the same as one of my biweekly paychecks.
11. I would have 4 real chairs around the kitchen table again. Right now we have one intact chair, one that is broken but usable, and an old Swedish kneeling chair.I was able to determine that I make less than a living wage for my household here:
12. I would pay more than the minimum on my credit cards; perhaps even get back to not carrying a balance, the way things used to be before 2005.
13. I would get a haircut every 6 weeks or so instead of just twice a year.
Wouldn't it be good for the economy if I could do these things? I’m not looking to get a brand new car or a bigger house or designer clothes or weekly manicures. I would simply like to not be in a constant state of worry over paying very modest expenses. I don’t think that’s too much to ask after 11 years in a paraprofessional position at the U of M. If you agree, support the U of M AFSCME locals in their negotiations. Tell President Kaler we need a bigger wage increase @PrezKaler