Minimum Wage Increase-How Will It Impact You? WRITE!

March 2, 2008

Governor Fitial is surveying businesses so the administration can report to the U.S. Congress how the minimum wage increase will impact them. In a March 2, 2008 Saipan Tribune story he said:

"...the administration believes, as suggested by the U.S. Labor report, that the past increase did have, and future increases will have, serious adverse effects on the CNMI’s struggling economy.

Fitial reported that the CNMI government is now canvassing CNMI employers and others to provide information to congressional committees considering the minimum wages in the Northern Marianas and American Samoa.

“We believe these data will convincingly support the proposition that the next increase should be postponed,” Fitial told Christensen, who heads the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs."

We can provide information to congressional committees too!

I am accepting testimony from minimum wage earners and those who support the minimum wage in the form of e-mail and letters. You can send your letters as attachments to I will deliver the letters and e-mail to Congress.

Please include the following in your letters/e-mails:

  • How long have you worked in the CNMI?
  • How many people do you support on your salary? (what is your family make-up?)
  • What is your current salary? How much in taxes and other deductions (list them) are taken out?
  • How much did you pay in federal income taxes last year?
  • What pay increases, if any, have you had over the years?
  • What are your expenses and does your salary cover all of your expenses? (Food, housing, utilities, medical care, clothing, transportation, etc.)
  • Do you have any medical conditions or health-care needs? Does your employer pay for your medical care and prescription drugs? If not, how much do you spend on these expenses?
  • How do you survive on the current minimum wage? What sacrifices have you made, if any, to be able to pay bills? Do you share housing? Cut down on food or other commodities?
  • Why do you need to have a minimum wage increase?
  • Do you have an unpaid judgment?
  • Include your personal views and comments.
Minimum wage increases do not just impact businesses, they impact the workers and their families. The majority of the work force in the CNMI is composed of minimum wage earners, and they deserve to have their voice heard. Legislation should not be decided merely on economic impact to businesses, but on the economic impact to those earning the wages. Let the members of the committees see the human side to this issue. Please write!