He knows what it's like working hard every day to take small steps up from minimum wage, "I literally would have to stretch my paycheck," explained Swydynski, "and usually if I'd get paid on a Friday by Monday I'd be broke."
Swydynski doesn't think raising minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.75 an hour is enough, "the cost of living goes up over and over, and the way the're looking at it is we'll increase it a little bit," said Swydynski.
That's the point Colin O'Malley of Metro Justice wants to make to lawmakers. His group is heading to the state capitol to ask legislators to consider calculating minimum wage using the cost of living, "right now when we don't index the minimum wage every single year the poorest workers in our state are actually losing money," explained O'Malley.
Tim Mason is President of the Small Business Council of Rochester. The group is contacting lawmakers in Albany for a different reason. They want to give their workers raises, but say the proposed $1.50 increase is too much, too soon, "certainly the issue becomes that dramatic increase over a very short period of time and a company's inability to plan for that," explained Mason, "and so the fact is that something will have to give, based upon that increase in cost."
The group from Metro Justice is heading to Albany Tuesday morning. The state legislature is supposed to pass the budget by March 31st.