Tip workers ask NY for a raise their minimum wage


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ALBANY — A group of restaurant servers, bartenders and delivery drivers wants New York state to raise the $5 minimum wage for tipped workers to the full minimum wage of $8.

The coalition is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Wage Board to increase the amount the business owners pay their tipped workers.

Restaurant workers and other tip workers aren't subject to the minimum wage because their income includes gratuities. But Bronx restaurant worker Autumn Alston said Tuesday that servers and bartenders should be able to make the same minimum wage as fast food workers or others in the service industry.

“It's a constant hustle," said Alston, 32. “Sometimes you get good tips, sometimes you don't get tips at all. We work just as hard as anybody else, so why shouldn't we get paid the same as everybody else?"

Alston and other leaders of the effort detailed their proposal last week in Albany.

The state's minimum wage is set to increase to $9 by the end of 2015. Legislation that would have raised it to $10.10 per hour failed to pass the Legislature this year.

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