***For Immediate Release***
January 2, 2024
Contact: Sierra Salgado Pirigyi
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: 402-438-8853 x116
Nebraska workers receive another wage increase because of Initiative 433
The increase to $12.00/hour is the second in a series of raises
LINCOLN, NE — Yesterday, Nebraska increased its minimum wage for workers across the state to $12.00/hour. This was the second in a set of annual $1.50 raises in hourly wages until the minimum wage reaches $15 in 2026, after which wages will be adjusted every year to account for cost of living increases.
This increase is the direct result of substantial support from 58% of Nebraskans across the state who voted in favor of Initiative 433, a ballot measure to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15. This initiative was critical to ensure that working Nebraskans and their families are moving towards a livable wage so that they can thrive in their communities. A higher minimum wage – and one tied to cost of living adjustments – will make a significant difference in the lives of working Nebraskans, their families, and their communities. It will also be a step towards narrowing Nebraska’s racial and gender pay gaps.
The broad coalition of organizations, leaders, and community advocates who worked tirelessly in support of Initiative 433 also remain strongly opposed to LB327, which would eliminate adequate cost of living adjustments and create a harmful subminimum wage for youth workers under the age of 18.
“We are pleased to see Initiative 433 continue to benefit Nebraska workers and families with another minimum wage increase today,” said Sue Martin, President-Secretary-Treasurer of the Nebraska State AFL-CIO. “The consistent, predictable increases to $15, along with the annual cost of living increases thereafter, will ensure that hardworking Nebraska workers don’t fall behind. A strong, living wage means that our workers, communities, and economy will all benefit.”
“As a young person who has worked low wage jobs throughout most of high school, I am thrilled to see another increase in our state’s minimum wage,” said Sam Washburn, a high school student from Omaha. “My peers and I don’t just work for extra spending money, but out of necessity to support ourselves or our families. I remain steadfastly opposed to any attempt to carve out a youth subminimum wage, which would harm young Nebraskans across the state.”
Nebraska Appleseed Economic Justice Program Director Ken Smith issued the following statement:
“Today’s minimum wage increase is another important step towards increasing opportunity for Nebraska families. Nebraskans deserve fair pay that keeps up with the cost of living. When each of us has the opportunity to care and provide for ourselves and our loved ones, communities across our state thrive.”
“Despite Nebraskans’ overwhelming support for the ballot measure and the clear evidence of its benefits, a handful of legislators are seeking to override the will of the people by dismantling critical pieces of our new wage law through LB327. We encourage the Legislature to reject this bill and stand by the votes of Nebraskans across the state.”
The Arc of Nebraska
The Asian Community and Cultural Center
Heartland Workers Center
Mothers & Others: Mercy and Justice for Immigrants
NAACP Lincoln Youth Council
The Nebraska Civic Engagement Table
Nebraska State AFL-CIO
Voices for Children
Women’s Fund of Omaha