Hundreds protest living wage at the Capitol - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hundreds protest living wage at the Capitol

Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT
Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT
Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT
Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT
Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Hundreds gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they are calling 'inequitable pay distribution.' 

They came from all over the United States, including Puerto Rico, with one mission: to improve the state's living wage. 

A living wage is an informal benchmark, and it's not legally enforceable like a state or federal  'minimum' wage. The basic idea is that these pay rates are necessary for employees to live decent lives and something that these protesters say needs to change. 

The group of over one hundred represented small cooperatives and large labor unions. Dr. Akemi Stout is president of the Jackson Federation of Teachers. 
Without increasing teacher salaries she says, more and more of them will leave the state. 

"Teachers are not paid enough. And I heard someone say that it's not about the money, said Dr. Stout. "Yes, it is. It is about pay. Because if you can't live and you cant pay bills and you can't pay your student loans back, it's about pay. Pay me for what I'm worth. If you want people to stay in Mississippi and work you have to do better than what you're doing."

Pamela Nixon is a teacher from West Virginia. She thought it was important to come to Jackson to encourage teachers in the state to speak up, just as she did. 

"Yes, West Virginia has won for the teachers, not only the teachers but for the state workers in West Virginia," said Nixon. 

After a four-day walkout, a deal was made and West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice agreed to give educators a five percent pay raise this year. State workers received a three percent pay raise.

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2017 the Living Wage in Jackson was $10.86. The minimum wage, however, was $7.25.

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