Florida’s Minimum Wage Increased to $10 Last Month — And That’s Just the Beginning

Fight for $15 Florida and community allies outside of a McDonald’s in Ybor City, gathered for a rally in support of Florida’s Amendment 2. October 15, 2020.

Last month, I wrote for local media about Florida’s first major minimum wage increase since the passage of Florida’s Amendment 2 (aka the $15 minimum wage amendment), approved by about 61% of Florida voters in 2020.

In real numbers, that’s about 6.3 million votes in total across the state. (One million more votes than President Biden got in Florida, and about 700,000 more than Trump)

As of September 30, Florida’s minimum wage now rests at $10.00, or $6.98 for tipped employees, statewide. Over the next several years, per Amendment 2, Florida’s minimum wage will increase in $1 increments each year after until reaching $15 an hour by September 2026. After that, it’ll increase with inflation.

For Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, I spoke to local Fight for $15 leader and McDonald’s crew member Gail Rogers, 61, about the increase and their continued fight for a $15 U.S. federal minimum wage and the right to form a union.

I also spoke to Richie Floyd, a candidate for City Council in St. Petersburg, Florida, who helped lead volunteer recruitment efforts for the statewide Florida for 15 coalition last year, comprised of political, labor, and other social justice organizations. The coalition sent over 2 million texts statewide last year to rally support for Florida’s Amendment 2.

Finally, I also got the local small business owners’ perspective. That is, (yes, I’ll be frank) the perspective of business owners who supported Florida’s Amendment 2 last year, and their input on how business owners in Florida – and across the U.S. – can and should make a livable wage work for all employees within their business model.

There’s little information about the opposition to higher wages for workers within this piece, NGL. My goal was to focus on the workers’ perspective on the wage increase (with Roger’s input), or rather whatever I had been seeing left out of media coverage prior to. But, as far as opposition goes, I may (👀) have something in the works that goes more in-depth on that.

Anyway, you don’t want to skip this one! Check out my full piece for Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, as well as this complementary piece on what Florida workers can do if their employers violate the state’s new minimum wage requirement (wage theft, including minimum wage violations across the Sunshine state, is a real problem!)

Check it out:

Tampa bay is getting a minimum wage boost on Thursday, and it’s about damn time.

What Florida workers can do if their employers violate state’s new minimum wage requirement.

*Added note: I’m currently open to freelance/contract/employment opportunities. Hit me up if you’d like to commission me to write something – on politics, labor, or related social justice issues at mkaschueler@gmail.com

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