Three New Year’s Resolutions to Lift Up Workers, Families

 New Year's resolutions the Economic Policy Institute is promoting that Congress address as we enter into 2023.
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Photo: Economic Policy Institute\

The following are New Year's resolutions the Economic Policy Institute is promoting that Congress address as we enter into 2023.

As we look toward a new year and a new Congress, we hope policymakers will resolve to: 

1. Strengthen unions and the right to strike
Union approval hit its highest point since 1965, yet only 11.6% of workers are represented by a union. Labor law reforms that restore workers’ right to form unions and strengthen the right to strike would help ensure workers have the leverage they need to secure their share of economic growth.

2. Boost worker pay and tackle wage inequality 
The value of the federal minimum wage is at its lowest point in 66 years. After the longest period in history without an increase, the federal minimum wage today is worth 27% less than 13 years ago—and 40% less than in 1968. Meanwhile, worker productivity has continued to increase, but the typical worker has not seen that reflected in their wages: Productivity has grown 3.7 times as much as worker pay since 1979.

3. Make pay more equitable for teachers and address the educator shortage 
The teacher pay penalty hit a new high of 23.5% in 2021. This gap in pay has been worsening over time, hurting students in public education by undermining teacher retention and recruitment. 

The holiday season is a good time to remember the impact of policies like these on the lives and circumstances of workers and their families. We wish you a happy holiday season and a joyful new year, as we continue to advocate for a fairer economy for all throughout the new year.

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