Minimum-Wage Debate Heats Up In Pennsylvania
Cori Shetter is a college graduate and aspiring actress who’s worked minimum-wage jobs for 15 years.
“It’s like swinging from Tarzan vine to Tarzan vine. One vine’s about to end and break, so you just grab the next one, but you’re never really putting your feet on solid ground,” said the 31-year-old Pittsburgh resident.
Living in her Lawrenceville home is only possible because her parents own it, and Shetter pays them as much of the mortgage and other expenses as she can.
The one major thing she could do to further her career goals — auditioning — has fallen by the wayside as she invests most of her time in serving jobs for small, but reliable, paychecks. She supplements that by cutting hair for up to 10 clients a month at home.
Many servers, like Shetter, earn Pennsylvania’s tipped minimum wage of $2.83 per hour. The standard minimum wage, both state and federal, is $7.25.
Many believe the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with the times, and movements to raise it are being led by grassroots groups and governments in communities across the nation. In June, Los Angeles became the biggest city in the country to raise its minimum wage to $15 by 2020.