Man oh man... I wish with all my heart that the bureaucrats in this world could see how they would fare if they were making $8.40 per hour. The quotes in this article from KTVZ.com show me that Brad Avakian has no idea. I think the truth in what he says about employers "breathing a little easier" is more to the point...
Oregon Minimum Wage Won't Change In 2010
Consumer prices have dropped; steady figure first since '02
From KTVZ.COM news sources
PORTLAND- Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian announced Wednesday that the state's minimum wage will remain $8.40 next year.
Due to a decline of 1.48% in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from August 2008 to August 2009, the minimum wage will hold steady for the first time since Oregon voters enacted Ballot Measure 25 in 2002.
"Under the circumstances, a steady minimum wage is good for Oregon's businesses and working people," said Commissioner Avakian. "While the economy still struggles, workers will be able to continue taking care of their families while maintaining their purchasing power and contributing to the recovery."
"At the same time, employers who are in difficult financial situations can breathe a little easier because their labor costs will remain constant."
Oregon minimum wage law, codified in ORS 653.025, requires an annual adjustment based on inflation as measured by the CPI. The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) is charged with adjusting the minimum wage for inflation every September, rounded to the nearest five cents.
The law specifically ties Oregon's minimum wage to increases in the CPI, leaving no option for a reduced wage when the CPI declines.
Oregon is one of 10 states, with Washington, Vermont, Ohio, Nevada, Montana, Missouri, Florida, Colorado, and Arizona, that annually adjusts the minimum wage based on inflation and the CPI.
A combination of factors, including local economic trends, the structure of state laws and the floor of the federal minimum wage, suggest that few, if any, decreased minimum wage rates will take effect next year.
The CPI, which is published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a measure of the average change in prices over time for a fixed "market basket" of goods and services, such as food, shelter, medical care, transportation fares and other goods and services people purchase for day-to-day living.
The Bureau of Labor and Industries works to protect the rights of workers and citizens to equal, nondiscriminatory treatment and encourages and enforces compliance with state laws relating to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.
In addition, the Bureau's Technical Assistance for Employers Unit exists to train employers to understand and comply with civil rights and other labor and employment laws. Updated minimum wage posters will be available from the bureau in December and can be downloaded from the agency's website, http://www.boli.state.or.us/