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Apr 10 Meinert commented on Restaurant Guy David Meinert Urges Staff to Lobby for Tip Deduction from $15 Wage or "Tips Will Probably Go Away" and Overall Wages Will Drop.
@107 - what facts are made up? Be specific and I'm happy to answer.

The made up 'fact' here is from Dom. He's lying, he knows I'm not behind a campaign to convince servers of anything. But integrity in reporting isn't one of Dom's strong suits.

Apr 10 Meinert commented on Restaurant Guy David Meinert Urges Staff to Lobby for Tip Deduction from $15 Wage or "Tips Will Probably Go Away" and Overall Wages Will Drop.
@99 -

$15Now leader Jess Spear has called for moving away from tipping in her statements. Sawant has vilified tipping. And Labor backers of $15Now have told me directly they want to change my business model and get rid of tipping.

When we raised the minimum wage in Washington for tipped workers in the late 1980's, we lost 11,700 jobs and experienced higher inflation. Among restaurants we saw a significant decrease in the numbers of servers per restaurant to the point where Washington now averages the fewest number of servers per restaurant in the US

I want to raise the minimum wage to $15. It will cost me a lot of profit to do so in the short run, but I think it's the right thing to do. IF we can count tips for servers as part of the MW. This makes total sense. It's not an evil proposal. It raised the minimum wage for well over 90% of workers in Seattle to $15, and guarantees the rest never make less than $15 (since they already make well over that).

The only untruths being told here are by $15Now advocates and ROC when they put out info about how tipped workers in Seattle live in poverty, and claim they average $9.87 per hour. This info would be a joke were it not being used to try to lower so many peoples' incomes.

Count tips as wages and ensure everyone gets a increase in income, or don't and make sure a whole class of workers gets a decrease in income.
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Apr 6 Meinert commented on My Rebuttal to Dave Meinert's Argument on Total Compensation.
@11 - awesome you would hold up the Linkery as a business without tips that's so awesome. Fact is they had horrible service, and closed.

Read about them - http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/fe…

Typical of the $15Now side to use partial info and not tell the complete story. The reality is servers in Seattle make well over $15 per hour in tips and the data shows this, but $15Now uses national data that is not applicable to Seattle.
Apr 5 Meinert commented on My Rebuttal to Jess Spear's Argument on Total Compensation.
@12 - thanks, agreed, it's done exactly like that elsewhere and works.

@14 - I am proposing we give my employees raises. Significant ones that will cost me a lot of money. I'm just proposing we do it in a way that doesn't close my and many other's businesses.

Apr 5 Meinert commented on My Rebuttal to Jess Spear's Argument on Total Compensation.
@ 9 - I agree there are problems with wage theft everywhere including in Seattle. On one hand the $15Now side claims there is a huge issue with wage theft in Seattle where we don't have tip credit, but then says wage theft elsewhere is a result of tip credit. You can't have it both ways.

Wage theft is the result of weak laws and weak enforcement. It's not from tip credit. And we do need to address it.

In my original article on total compensation (http://tinyurl.com/ksr6q4d) I said:

Enforcement is key. We need harsh punishments for any business that doesn't pay $15. I suggest a fine of two to three times the amount underpaid plus interest for the first offense, and loss of business license or jail for the second offense. Employees must also have a place to take labor complaints, and we should look to San Francisco and form an Office of Labor Standards to ensure this and other local labor laws are enforced.

Apr 5 Meinert commented on My Rebuttal to Jess Spear's Argument on Total Compensation.
@3 - Servers income will go down because if we go to $15 across the board, businesses would have to raise prices by so much they would have no customers - unless we raised prices and did away with tips. Which is what Jess Spear wants, no tips. The problem is that if restaurants replace tips with higher prices, that 20% price increase is first taxed and then is kept and controlled by the business (we can't touch tips). It will be used to pay the higher labor costs. Servers will get a $5.68 increase in the wage, but no longer get tips. Servers who now average $27 per hour with tips, will be guaranteed $15 per hour. Restaurants won't have any more money to pay them without another price increase, but never will anyone be paid close to what they were.

And you're exactly correct - this could be solved by counting tips as part of minimum guaranteed compensation. That's my proposal. This would guarantee tipped employees get at least $15 per hour, but would not do away with tipping, So those making more than $15 per hour with tips now, would keep their tips.

Apr 4 Meinert commented on My Rebuttal to Dave Meinert's Argument on Total Compensation.
The study on other increases in minimum wage studied small increases. And the researchers specifically said that their conclusions could not be extrapolated to the $15Now proposal because it is such a larger increase.

As for tipped workers living in poverty, ALL your data on that comes from outside of Seattle. Can you show us data on how many full time tipped workers in Seattle live in poverty when their tips are counted? Using data from places where the tipped minimum wage is $2 is not applicable to this discussion.
Apr 4 Meinert commented on Total Compensation Is the Only Way to Raise Workers' Income and Preserve Your Local Favorite Small Business.
@42 - no one has said tips will be made illegal. What people are saying on one side is that tips are not a valid model for compensation, while the other side says they are.

If tips aren't a valid model for compensation, and we don't count them as compnesation in a $15 minimum wage, employers will have no choice but to raise prices and get rid of tips. This will allow for no decrease in sales, but income to pay for the wage increase. But it also means that while servers will get $5.68 more in wages, they'll lose their tip income.

Instead, I propose count tips as part of compensation but guarantee no one makes less than $15 per hour. This way the servers now making over $15 an hour because of tips will still be making that, the back of house will get a raise, prices will go up just a little, and small businesses will survive.

The argument basically comes down to guaranteeing a minimum income of $15 counting total comp including tips, raising income for all workers, while preserving small businesses, or mandating a $15 minimum wage across the board, closing small business, and ensuring one group of workers make less while one makes more.

I like the first option, and it achieves the goal of everyone in Seattle earning a living income.
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Apr 4 Meinert commented on Total Compensation Is the Only Way to Raise Workers' Income and Preserve Your Local Favorite Small Business.
It's amazing to me that people are actually saying we should get rid of tipping. I'll respond to this in Slog today. But not counting tips as part of total comp means servers will make far less than they do now. Ask ANY server in Seattle if they would rather get a $15 wage w/o tips or $9.32 wage with tips and have that guaranteed to never be less than $15 per hour. People are ignorant if they think servers make less than $15 per hour in Seattle.
Apr 2 Meinert commented on Total Compensation Is the Only Way to Raise Workers' Income and Preserve Your Local Favorite Small Business.
@10 - no, total compensation would mean that everyone is guaranteed $15 earnings, but with a credit if the employer paid for health care.

So for example, a server would get $9.32 per hour wage (never below the state minimum wage), and then their tips would account for the rest up to $15, if they made that much per hour in tips. If they didn't make enough in tips to them to $15, then the employer would have to make up the difference. No one would make less than $15 per hour.

Back of house would all get raises up to $15. Any business, say like McDonald's, where employees don't earn tips or commissions, would have to raise them up to $15. The only people not getting raises are the ones already earning $15 or more per hour.

For health insurance, it would be something like that if the worker got health, $2 of that cost would be a credit off the minimum wage. So the minimum wage would basically be $13 if health insurance provided, $15 if not. If health insurance isn't included, many small businesses wouldn't provide it and would just transfer this cost to wage. The employee by law would have to go pay for it themselves. We know that many employees won't do this, which is bad for everyone. So I favor including a credit for health insurance.

This isn't a tip penalty. This is counting real earnings as part of the minimum wage and guaranteeing them.

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