Hawaii's Workforce Gets a Raise - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii's Workforce Gets a Raise

Erik Deryke Erik Deryke
Kevin Ballew Kevin Ballew
Victoria Ortiz-Phillips Victoria Ortiz-Phillips

By: Mary Simms

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With one of the highest costs of living across the nation, how do Hawaii's minimum wage workers make a living?

"Our bussers and our servers here are both affected by the minimum wage," said restaurant manager Erik Deryke.

In Hawaii, workers who receive tips can be paid 25 cents less than the minimum wage.

"The nice thing is that they're in a service environment, so they get tips and also they get the wage. Now, it's around seven dollars, and they also work for a gratuity. But the base pay is definitely a nice touch. We also offer enhanced benefits and make sure all of our workers get enough hours to take advantage of the benefits," said Deryke.

Eight Hundred dollars a week in tips, and enhanced benefits help one college student make a living.

"With the cost of living being so high as it is here in Waikiki, it will help when we get our checks every two weeks," said college student and employee Kevin Ballew. "There will be a noticeable increase, I believe so I am looking forward to it."

But not everyone agrees the recent increase was enough.

"I lived in hawaii back in the 70's and 80's," said Victoria Ortiz-Phillips who is visiting Honolulu from California. "The minimum wage was definitely not enough to live on. At the time, in my first job here I was making like 400 dollars a month. I think that Hawaii should be at least up to 7.50 like California."

Whether you agree or not, Hawaii's increase did come ahead of Federal Legislation; and workers here are feeling benefits already.

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