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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Minimum wage needs to be raised

People should work one job, not three

Editor, The Times:

As a former HR manager/executive for a large organization with around 4,000 employees, I have studied many different wage and salary issues [“A $15 minimum wage won’t help you land your first job,” Opinion, Oct. 23].

Compensation is complicated and misunderstood by many. The current arguments over a $15 minimum wage mix together concepts, data, issues and arguments — as in Bruce Ramsey’s column. They are not helpful, in my view.

Some mixed things that are not alike: What is a minimum wage in Seattle for a full-time family wage earner? What is a reasonable probationary and starting employee salary in various businesses (not just McDonald’s, Dick’s or Starbucks)? Is the job only part time for high school or college students, or family wage earners? Is there a ladder of higher paying jobs to climb in the company? Does the company have a policy of only part-time jobs to avoid paying benefits or to maintain only starting salaries?

I have known people who work at three different three-to-four-hour retail jobs with different employers trying to earn enough. To mix together all these issues is confusing and obfuscating. The issue of SeaTac workers is whether they’re being paid enough on one job to earn a living wage.

Russell R. Fosmire, Seattle

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Minimum Wage

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