New York implements new wage policy for airport workers

A new minimum wage policy is now in place at LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport that will benefit thousands of critical airport workers. Under the Minimum Wage Policy for workers performing under non-trade labor service contracts adopted by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, contractor and sub-contractor airport workers making $9.00 an hour or less will see an immediate $1 an hour increase and all workers will receive a raise to $10.10 an hour on February 1, 2015, if they are making less than that. Starting in 2016, the wage level will increase each year by the annual percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index. The policy, which also applies to the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, is effective as of July 31, 2014.

In April, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners adopted a formal minimum wage policy mandating contractors at Port Authority airports to pay an appropriate minimum wage to their workers, with a dollar increase as soon as practicable this year for those earning $9 an hour or less and a ramp up to $10.10 in 2015. The policy also called for Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday, and called on employers to develop plans for enhanced wages and benefits in the future.
The Port Authority released a copy of the proposed rule encompassing the policy on June 13 for public comment and the formal rule became effective on July 31, 2014. Several airlines already have begun implementing the requested higher wages with their contractors.

In accordance with the rule, the Port Authority is currently developing a plan for enhanced wages and benefits, including health benefits for workers. The Port Authority’s existing policy for wages and benefits for certain Port Authority non-trade labor service contracts, which, as implemented, provides benchmarks for the inclusion of affordable health care, is being examined as a point of reference for such plan. (State of New York, Office of the Governor, Press Release, July 31, 2014, http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/07312014-minimum-wage-airport-workers, Rules for Implementation of Minimum Wage Policy for Non-Trade Labor Service Contracts–LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport,” http://www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf/wage-rules.pdf.)

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