ST. LOUIS – The Peace and Justice Commission of the St. Louis Archdiocese today announced its official endorsement of Proposition B, the Missouri statewide ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023.
“As stated in this year’s Labor Day Statement from the USCCB, Just Wages and Human Flourishing, the Church’s traditional teaching holds that wages must honor a person’s dignity and ability to contribute to the common good of civil society and family well-being. Every worker has a right to a just wage according to the criterion of justice , which St John XXIII described as wages that give the worker and his family a standard of living in keeping with dignity of the human person” saidMarie Kenyon, Director of the Peace and Justice Commission. “Missouri’s current minimum wage is too low to honor this teaching. We have thousands of our sisters and brothers across the state working hard to raise their families, but still living in poverty. We must do better. We must raise the minimum wage.”
Missouri’s minimum wage is currently $7.85 an hour -- which translates to earnings of just $314 a week, or barely $16,000 a year before taxes – for someone working full time.
“Three hundred fourteen dollars a week is not enough to raise a family or care for a parent or loved one. The cost of basic necessities has gone up for years, but wages have not increased accordingly,” added Kenyon. “There are thousands of health care staffers, teacher’s aides, janitors, and other workers across our state who work full time but still cannot meet their family’s basic needs.Our faith demands that we speak out and advocate for them and their families, which is why we are supporting Proposition B.”
Proposition B will raise Missouri’s minimum wage gradually to $12 an hour by 2023, helping 260,000 children who live with parents earning minimum wage and 100,000 senior citizens and near retirees who are working hard to try to make ends meet.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The development of economic activity and growth in production are mean to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community.”
“We encourage all people of faith to stand in support of our human community by voting ‘yes’ on Proposition B this November to raise Missouri’s minimum wage,” said Kenyon.
The St. Louis Archdiocese created the Peace and Justice Commission in 2015, when Archbishop Carlson appointed 27 individuals to serve as members. Members of the Commission include lay persons, clergy, religious sisters, economists, attorneys, and educators. The Commission develops its priorities by looking at how issues affecting the St. Louis region specifically impact the family, because by working to strengthen the family, the Commission hopes to help build stronger communities and a peaceful and just region and world.
For more information on the Peace and Justice Commission, visit: https://www.archstl.org/peace-and-justice-commission