wage increase

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

The fourth and final hearing was held by a board specially appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to consider raising the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York.

Outside, supporters of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour held a rally.

Inside, dozens of fast food workers were among those who testified at the last hearing held by Cuomo’s wage board, which is examining whether to raise the state’s minimum wage beyond the current rate of increase to $9 an hour by the end of 2015.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Advocates of raising the minimum wage see hope in recent statements by the leader of the state Senate, and hope a deal can be struck by the end of the year.

Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos, whose party will control the Senate in January, says while he thinks the state’s gradual increase of the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour next year is good enough, he’s willing to at least discuss raising it higher. Skelos, after meeting with Republican members, says he also wants a pay raise for senators.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Cities across the country saw strikes Thursday as part of a campaign by fast food workers to raise the federal minimum wage. The movement faces strong opposition both within and outside the fast food industry.

Walkouts were planned in at least 100 cities in support raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, roughly $15,000 per year for a full-time job.

The fast food industry claims that raising wages would be difficult without bumping up the prices on their menus too.

Democrats in the State Senate held a forum promoting a hike in the state’s minimum wage, while a conservative group says there’s already a government program in place that  boosts the earnings of low wage workers well above the current minimum standard.