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NEA President: Senate obstructionism hurts working families again

Raising the minimum wage would improve the lives of educators and students, too


WASHINGTON - April 30, 2014 -

A Republican-led filibuster today derailed a U.S. Senate proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 for working families.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel issued the following statement:

“Today’s vote that blocked action on a raise in the federal minimum wage is another blow to millions of working families and the 16 million children living in poverty. Hardworking families, including women and men who dedicate their lives to transporting, nourishing, counseling, protecting or teaching our nation’s students, are struggling, living paycheck to paycheck. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would have gone a long way towards improving their lives and the lives of their students. Unfortunately, a minority of the Senate prevented action and turned its back on the working people who are just trying to make ends meet and to support their families.

“This is of special concern to educators because we know firsthand that raising the minimum wage will help students whose parents work hard to support their families, and we know that it will help many of our fellow educators—food service professionals, custodians, and even adjunct college professors who do not earn a living wage. Educators believe that no one who works a full-time job should live in poverty.”

Many NEA members have shared what they see and experience with their own students and families who are facing the challenges of poverty, and who would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage. In many parts of the country, education support professionals earn so little they qualify for public assistance - some work two or even three jobs to feed and house their families. An astonishing 15% of school food service professionals qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (NEA ESPQ).

You can read their personal and compelling stories here.

Follow the conversation on Twitter @NEAMedia #raisethewage

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

 CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez
(202) 822-7823, mgonzalez@nea.org