AtWork! dumps subminimum wage jobs for clients with disabilities

August 6, 2015

NEW — 6 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015

As of Jan. 1 of this year, the Washington state minimum wage became $9.47 per hour.

However, there are 40 organizations statewide authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay subminimum wages. One of those organizations is Issaquah’s AtWork!, which helps put people with disabilities from all around the Seattle area into wage-earning jobs. Rules allow some workers with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wage based on their productivity.

As of the end of July, AtWork! officials were happy to announce, via press release, that it would no longer place any employee in a position that earns less than the state minimum wage.

“We believe that all workers have a basic right to integrated employment at a fair wage, including workers with disabilities,” Chris Brandt, AtWork! CEO, said in the news release. “How serendipitous that the 25th anniversary of the ADA coincides with AtWork!’s end to paying subminimum wages. We are proud and honored to celebrate these two momentous events.” Read more

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Two council members decide not to run in 2015

April 14, 2015

The makeup of the Issaquah City Council is about to change.

In the past week, Councilman Joshua Schaer and Councilwoman Nina Milligan have announced they won’t run for re-election come fall.

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Editorial — Minimum wage hike not a good idea for Issaquah

December 9, 2014

Last week, some fast food workers demonstrated in favor of a $15 per hour minimum wage. But now is not the time for Issaquah to consider jumping on the bandwagon.

Issaquah has a front row seat to see how Seattle is affected by the $15 minimum wage. We should watch and see whether the experiment will turn out the way Seattle hopes or if there will be unintended consequences.

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To the Editor — week of Nov. 26

November 25, 2014

Meals program

Rule change needed public transparency

On Nov. 18, The Issaquah Press carried an article by Tom Corrigan, about a new sign outside the Issaquah Community Hall, prohibiting outdoor eating of meals served in the hall. As a private citizen, I write this letter in support of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act.

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To the Editor

July 29, 2014


Relay for Life

Group is still needing   funds to make its goal

On May 31, members from our community took to the track at Issaquah High School for Issaquah’s 2014 Relay For Life. As always, it was those involved who made this year’s Relay For Life an outstanding event and fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

“Thank you” doesn’t seem enough for what the community gave to Relay For Life this year. We are so grateful for: the planning team made of volunteers who spent the year organizing the event; the team captains and team members who raised money and awareness for cancer research during the Relay season; our day of event volunteers who helped set up and prepare; and our sponsors and community businesses that made generous donations.

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To the Editor

May 13, 2014

Flooding concerns

Make your opinion heard about Gilman development

How many of you who witnessed the 2009 (and 1996 and 1990) flooding around Lombardi’s thought that the best solution for that site would be to add three five-story buildings, 400 automobiles and 600 residents? And with no requirement to do anything to keep the site from flooding again?

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January 7, 2014

Minimum wage talk starts good discussion

Income equality is the driving force behind the much talked about potential for a $15 minimum wage across the state. The $15 question was put to a vote in the city of SeaTac in November and narrowly passed.

Washington state currently has the highest state minimum wage in the nation, which increases with inflation and stands at $9.32 this year.

While we believe every worker should have the right to a decent wage, the $15/hour equates to $31,200 annually, not even the $41,000/year estimated as a living wage for a family of four in King County. So why stop at $15?

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