READ: Pay Raises Would Help Revitalize the Economy
July 02, 2020
On July 1, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published a Letter to the Editor written by Unit 3 member Richard Lajeunesse. The text of the letter appears below.
Pay raises would help revitalize the economy
The $150 million pay raises for public workers is logical, fair and a good investment in Hawaii (“Hawaii lawmakers approve public worker raises worth more than $150M,” Star-Advertiser, June 26). Workers were owed $75 million from belated 2019 wages. About $30 million will go to taxes, figuring 15% federal and 5% state tax.
The underpaid workers’ raises will be one of the few bright spots to help stimulate the economy. Because state workers don’t have extra money, the meager belated wage increase will be spent in Hawaii’s restaurants, bars, furniture stores, car dealerships, etc. Hawaii businesses can’t count on tourist money for a long time to come.
The federal government added $600 per week to unemployment to stimulate the economy. Why deny Hawaii’s workers a small $150 a month earned pay increase because the future is uncertain? Let’s not drag each other down but lift each other up.