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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Congress Raises Its Pay But Won't Raise Minimum Wage

MORE FOR US, NONE FOR YOU—The Republican-controlled Congress, which has blocked a raise in the minimum wage three times this year, voted Nov. 18 to give itself its eighth pay raise since the minimum wage was last raised in 1997. While millions of minimum wage workers continue to struggle on $5.15 an hour, the congressional pay raise, approved as part of the fiscal year 2006 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations bill, will give lawmakers a $3,100-a-year pay hike. Minimum wage workers who work full-time earn just $10,700 a year. Members of Congress, though, will be making $31,600 a year more than they did in 1997. Congress is home for a long Thanksgiving Day recess. Call your lawmakers’ local offices and send them a message that you are outraged by their priorities. You can find the local office numbers for your U.S. representative at http://www.house.gov and for your senators at http://www.senate.gov.

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