NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — The push to increase the minimum wage is one of the hot topics that people are talking about right now. News 8’s Tina Detelj has more on what the raise means to women in Connecticut.
A lot of people who work in businesses along this road make minimum wage. On January 1st they got a raise from $8.25 to $8.70 an hour when the first of two increases in the minimum wage went into effect. Now, some are saying that they want it to go even higher.
Several of those individuals filled the City Hall chambers on Thursday morning. The discussion was about how the minimum wage impacts women.
“The minimum wage as it is now does not help them have what we really call quality of life,” said Norwich Mayor Deberey Hinchey.
Many women, like Jennifer Lenon, work full-time.
“This is the first job I’ve had in ten years that actually offered benefits. Most other jobs I’ve had you work for minimum wage and you never have any room for advancement,” she said.
She is happy with her job at X-tra Mart, but Lenon and her fiancé are thinking of starting a family. If she could make more than $8.75 and hour, then she could more easily plan for a family and get a car.
“We’re 28. We really do want a house, but yeah with bills, paying for rent, cell phone… by the end of the week the paycheck it’s already been gone two or three days, so a raise would definitely be nice,” she said.
“The commission on the status of women they are trying to gather that kind of information, so they can make policy recommendations,” said Mayor Hinchey.
Those paying all of these salaries, though, are often small business owners who say they cannot afford any increases.
“Yeah, it might cost the business owner a little bit more, but if the workers are more appreciated, then they’re gonna be nicer to the customers. More customers are going to want to come in,” said Lenon.
This forum is one of eight already scheduled throughout the state and more could be added. The goal of these forums is to find ways to make Connecticut a stronger and better place for women and girls.