Published December 23, 2017
Minimum Wage Increase Becomes Effective Tsiothohrkó:wa/January 1, 2018
AKWESASNE – The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is pleased to announce that it has once again increased the minimum wage for all tribal government employees. The new tribal minimum wage of $11.48 goes went into effect on Tsiothohrkó:wa/January 1, 2018 and will immediately benefit 130 employees of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.
“Tribal employees serve as the organization’s greatest asset and we continue to take a team approach in providing a living wage that adequately expresses our appreciation for the work they do on behalf of tribal members,” stated the Tribal Council. They further added, “They contribute to many of the organization’s accomplishments and the increase to the tribal minimum wage will help serve as a constant reminder that their contributions continue to be valued and appreciated.”
The new tribal minimum wage represents an increase of $.45 per hour over the previous increase two years ago on Tsiothohrkó:wa/January 1, 2016, when it was increased to $11.03. The latest increase will apply to all tribal government employees; including tribal staff whose wages are derived from federal or state funding sources; such as staff of the federally funded Johnson O’Malley Program and students and interns of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.
“The tribal minimum wage increase represents the latest effort by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe to provide for the wellbeing and livelihood of all tribal government employees,” stated SRMT Executive Director Tsiorasa Barreiro. “In doing so, we conduct periodic reviews of compensation policies to remain competitive and appealing to those seeking employment as an employer of choice, while remaining fiscally responsible to tribal programs and the protection of community interests.”
Discussions on the need to increase the tribal minimum wage took place throughout the summer of 2017 between members of the Tribal Council, the Executive Director’s Office and the Chief Financial Officer. Talks focused on balancing the living needs of all tribal government employees, the service needs of the Akwesasne community, and the need for the tribal organization to remain competitive in Northern New York State, while being financially responsible given the funding uncertainties taking place across Indian Country.
The new tribal minimum wage of $11.48 for tribal government employees was adopted through Tribal Council Resolution 2017-68 and assures that all employees of the Tribe will continue to receive compensation greater than the New York State Minimum Wage. The increased wage will now serve as the base rate for the SRMT Wage Scale that compensates all incoming and current tribal government employees according to job code and classification.
No tribal government employee of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe will receive compensation less than the new tribal minimum wage; with the exception of trainees and student interns who are specifically designated to receive a rate below the federal minimum wage due to program requirements.