Another push to raise Illinois’minimum wage is planned for the Veto Session after Thanksgiving. The minimum wage of $8.25 an hour took effect in July 2010, and it’s not enough, says Elizabeth Parisian, policy analyst for the labor coalition Stand Up Chicago, which is trying to organize fast-food and retail workers.
“Working people understand that you can’t get by on $8.25 an hour. You can’t raise a family. When you’re earning so little, you can’t support a family, and I think folks understand the idea that if you work for a living, you should be able to support a family, and raising the minimum wage helps us do that,” she said.
The measure the group supports would raise the minimum wage by 50 cents an hour each year, plus inflation, until it reaches $10.50 an hour, after which time it would rise with inflation. Parisian says $10.50 an hour equals the minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1968, adjusted for inflation, which is the last time the minimum wage provided a living wage for full-time workers. This is when the minimum wage had its highest purchasing power.