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Letters: Extend $15 minimum to more workers

Labor leaders, workers and activists attend a rally

Labor leaders, workers and activists attend a rally for a $15 minimum hourly wage on July 22, 2015 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Members of the governor's wage board have recommended increasing the minimum wage to $15 for fast-food workers ["Wrong path to wage hike," Editorial, July 23].

My organization, NYSARC, serves people with developmental disabilities and strongly endorses this principle. However, this discussion should not be limited to the food-service industry.

We encourage state officials to also consider helping direct support professionals who work with people with developmental disabilities. These professionals require significant expertise and training to help people with activities of daily living, manage their health care, stay safe and get out into the community.

Human services workers need a wage increase, funded in the state budget, commensurate with their responsibilities.

Steven Kroll, Delmar

I don't have the economic expertise to debate the pros and cons of this recommendation, but I do know there is another segment of the workforce that is being used as indentured servants!

Members of this group have graduated from high school and college, successfully completed unpaid apprenticeships, and been certified by the state. By any measure, this group must be considered highly skilled, but its members earn just $60 per day!

I'm talking about our growing pool of substitute teachers. Surely we can pay them a living wage as they take care of our children.

Chuck Darling, South Setauket

I feel compelled to mention the importance of addressing pay scales for entry-level health care workers as well. I work as a pharmacist at a CVS Pharmacy and see the value of pharmacy technicians, who help manage the workload. They are underpaid; they make less than $10 an hour in most cases.

Technicians hold patient health responsibilities in their hands. Many are single mothers or young college students struggling to make ends meet.

Ken Sternfeld, Westbury