Mid-Missourians share mixed feelings about wage increase
COLUMBIA - Missouri workers are getting a small pay raise in 2015.
Starting Jan. 1, the Show-Me state will pay minimum wage workers an extra 15 cents, raising their pay to $7.65 an hour.
The minimum wage for tipped workers will also see an nine cent raise, settling at $3.83 per hour.
The change comes in accordance with a 2006 law that requires an annual cost-of-living adjustment to Missouri's minimum wage.
Many feel it is still not enough.
Taylor Gibson has two kids and works at the Phoenix Public House and Eatery in Boonville about 25 hours a week. She gets a paycheck of about under $100 every two weeks, without tips.
"Tips don't always get you up to regular minimum wage, Gibson said. "You are working your butt off and sometimes you get tips and sometimes you don't."
Gibson is one of the 136,000 low-wage workers in Missouri, who will get some extra cash this year.
"Nine cents is good, it works. It's better than nothing, I guess it's an extra nine cents an hour but it is still pennies," Gibson said. "Not everyone realized that you don't actually get a pay check really, you live off the tips, so a lot of people don't tip or they blame you for things that are out your control."
Others said more money is always welcome.
Darius Keion Jasper, 18, works as a host for Cheddar's Cafe in Columbia.
He makes $3.75 an hour and gets 3 percent of tips on top of that.
On a good day, Jasper said he picks up about $40 on a tip share if he works both the morning and evening shifts. He also gets an extra $170 every two weeks.
"I think it's totally cool. I am totally comfortable with what I make. I can support myself financially," Jasper said.
The National Employment Law Project said Missouri was joined by 19 other states that have raised their minimum wage on New Year's Day.
The measure excludes retail and service businesses whose gross sales are less than $500,000 a year, according to the Missouri Deparment of Labor and Industrial Relations.
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