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August 21, 2008  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

School bus workers speak out for livable wages


HARTFORD, Conn. — Unionized school bus drivers and monitors testified yesterday at a public hearing to ensure that the city’s living wage ordinance is lifting low-wage workers out of poverty without increasing economic burdens on taxpayers.

Members of CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 who work for the Hartford Board of Education’s student transportation contractors told a task force assembled by Mayor Eddie Perez that the living wage ordinance should be strengthened.

“The current living wage is not allowing enough workers to afford to live and raise their families in our city,” school bus monitor Hector Diaz said.

Diaz cited a recent report by economic policy advocacy group Connecticut Voices for Children, which said that Hartford's living wage is far below its cost of living.

The city’s living wage ordinance was passed in 1999. It requires companies contracted by city agencies to compensate their workers with a self-supporting income.

According to CSEA/SEIU Local 2001, more than 140 similar laws have been passed throughout the country in the past decade.

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