Rally Set To Support Minimum-wage Rise

Posted: September 22, 1988

Officers of the Oxford Circle Civic Association urged members to attend a rally at state Sen. Hank Salvatore's office next Thursday to show support for a bill raising the minimum wage and to protest the senator's vote on the measure.

Joan Somers, the association's director of community affairs, said Tuesday night that the state Senate recently voted 25-24 against raising Pennsylvania's minimum wage from $3.35 to $4.65 an hour over the next three years. She said that Salvatore voted against the measure, which already had passed in the House.

The bill was resubmitted and should come up for a vote again in October or November, Somers said, urging residents to let Salvatore know that they support it.

The rally will be held at 10 a.m. at Salvatore's office, at 7711 Castor Ave.

"They voted themselves a $12,000 raise last year," she said, "and we're asking for $1.30, and we don't think that's very much."

Salvatore said Wednesday that he was in favor of a minimum-wage increase, but voted against the bill because it called for indexing.

"I'm for minimum wage. I'm not for indexing," he said. Indexing "meant automatic raises till the end of time. I'm against that part of the bill."

Salvatore said that he would introduce a bill Tuesday to increase the minimum wage to the same level as specified in the Senate version that was defeated.

Somers said the association's officers have joined with the Philadelphia Unemployment Project to support an increase in the minimum wage. The groups want it raised by $1.30 over the next three years.

Approval of the bill would help people in different income brackets, she said. "A lot of school kids are out there working to help their parents pay tuition," she said.

After the meeting, she added, "We have a lot of poor people here in Philadelphia. They don't want to be on welfare."

Although the minimum wage was set at $3.35 nationally in 1981, individual states can increase the limit, Somers said. Eleven states already have done that, she added.

After the meeting, residents signed petitions in support of the bill.

The association also discussed the city's plan to turn over a rowhouse in the 1200 block of East Cheltenham Avenue to a homeless family.

Pat Stroble, president of the civic association, said the city's decision was born out of a clerical mistake that confused West Cheltenham Avenue with East Cheltenham.

In December, Council passed a resolution allowing the city Redevelopment Authority to buy 36 federally repossessed houses for homeless families. According to the resolution, the houses were in the Ninth Councilmanic District. Through an error, a house in the Seventh District was chosen.

Residents said they were pleased that Councilman Jack Kelly was fighting to get the city-owned property back on the market.

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