The University of Kentucky raised its minimum wage to $10 an hour, effective July 1. Eric Monday, executive vice president of finance and administration, explained why.
"A significant portion of UK low-wage workers are in the facilities management department, which had a 13 percent turnover rate in 2014. The cost of replacing each employee who leaves is in the thousands of dollars, including recruitment, training, lost productivity, stress and strain on other employees. ... All of this has an impact on student experience, which is the guiding principle in decision-making."
Monday said one employee told him that since the wage increase, she would be able to take a vacation for the first time in years.
West Sixth Brewery increased its minimum wage to $12 an hour Jan. 1. Co-owner Ben Self explained why, and why he supports the wage increase.
"Employee turnover can have a drastic impact on our business. ... If we can keep all of our folks around for years to come, we'll know that the quality of beer we're making is better than ever, eliminating a huge long-term risk to us."
"Many of our folks are starting families and settling down. We think it is only fair to pay them what we consider to be a fair wage."
"Selfishly, if people have a larger amount of take-home pay, they're going to spend more money here locally — at local businesses like ours. We make a luxury product, and if you're just struggling to pay rent, you're not spending money on craft beer."
The lowest-paid worker at Kentucky Trade Computers makes $11 an hour. Owner Freddy Peralta supports raising the wage in Fayette County.
"It's very simple. The current minimum wage is not enough for people to just make a living. People who are working deserve to live in a decent manner without having to work two or three jobs."
"When people don't make enough, they're going to be using some government assistance. It is a way of subsidizing mainly the large corporations."
"It's going to be good for our economy if more people are going to be able to afford the basics. It will have a very positive impact in our community."