Federal Minimum Wage
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  1. #1
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Default Federal Minimum Wage

    So since Obama set the minimum wage for federal contract workers it is now affecting any company that has a contract to work with the VA. The reimbursement rates from the VA are so low anyway that these companies are just deciding to not renew their federal contracts rather than pay their workers more because it is not financially feasible especially when VA customers are a low percentage of their customer base. So now these Veterans will have to find somewhere else to live the will comply with these rates, which may become a real problem in some areas. Does this affect how you feel about this federal minimum wage executive order? Do you think this will become a national problem for veterans that are in private nursing homes?


    Some military veterans are being forced to leave their nursing home. It's an unintended consequence of President Obama's executive order in February to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

    Sandy Franks, public affairs officer at Shreveport's Overton Brooks V. A. Medical Center, explains that nursing homes that have contracts for subsidized care from the Veterans Administration become federal contractors. If they refuse to raise their wages, their contracts will not be renewed.

    Former Marine A.J. Crain just wheeled himself into his new room at Shreveport Manor on Mansfield Road when he got the news that the home's contract will end this month.

    "We fought all your wars, and now we're broke. Where do we go from here?" Crain asks.

    "We gotta go. Simple as that. We gotta go," says Vietnam War Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient John Washington.

    "I think it's very wrong. I think it's very distasteful," Washington goes on to say about Shreveport Manor's decision. "I mean some of these people here work their backsides off to keep this place going," he said, pointing to a woman changing his bed.

    Shreveport Manor is owned by Gamble Guest Care. Their Chief Operating Officer says if they raise wages for workers there, they have to do that at all eight of their facilities.

    In a statement, Gamble COO Matt Machen said, in part, "The additional labor expenses are simply unaffordable. As such, many long term care providers have indicated that they will no longer seek or renew V.A. contracts."

    Franks at the V.A. agrees that this has the potential to be a national problem as more V.A. contracts with nursing homes expire.

    "We will deal with it on a case by case basis," Franks says. "We will work the families and try to provide the most convenient, and the nursing homes that are up to our standards to take care of our veterans."

    "I'm not too happy over the situation," grumbles former Navy sailor Charles Shufflin at Shreveport Manor.

    Shufflin hasn't even bothered unpacking his boxes of belongings since he has a place to go. His daughter Vickie Carrington is making room at her house.
    "For my dad, I love him," she says, kissing him on the forehead.

    "I'm not so worried about myself," Shufflin says, "but the veterans that have no place to live."

    "There's a lot of people out there that have fought for our country," Carrington adds, choking back tears. "And the ones that don't have family members to take them in to take care of them, where are they going to go?"

    The V.A. says they'll look for space at other V. A. nursing homes, war veterans homes, or veteran community living centers.

    Gamble's Machen says the company will try to keep its veterans in place by looking for other forms of reimbursement, such as Medicare and Medicaid. He says only about one percent of their residents are affected.

    Shufflin and Crain had just moved into Shreveport Manor from Rose View Nursing Center across the street, after the V.A. recently deemed Rose View had fallen below V. A. standards. So those vets would be moving for the second time in as many months.
    Minimum wage order sends veterans packing from nursing homes - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
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    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    This is also affecting our military now.

    Four restaurants, including three McDonald’s outlets, will close within the next three weeks on Navy installations, according to Navy Exchange Service Command officials.

    And two other contractors — a name-brand sandwich eatery and a name-brand pizza parlor — have asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast food restaurants at two other installations, according to AAFES officials.

    A source with knowledge of military on-base resale operations said the issue likely has to do with two new government regulations — one implemented, one pending — that will affect wages for contract workers in such on-base concessions.

    These closings “are the tip of the iceberg,” the source said. “I don’t think anybody has realized what the far-reaching effects of this will be.”

    McDonald’s restaurants will close at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., on March 16; at Naval Support Activity, Bethesda, Md., on March 21; and at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Wash., on March 31, said Kathleen Martin, a NEXCOM spokeswoman.

    Another eatery, I Love Country, has notified NEXCOM that it will close its restaurant at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on April 4, Martin said.

    Martin said the McDonald’s outlets “came to the end of their contract term. We were in the process of renegotiating and McDonald’s made the unilateral decision to close those three” outlets. She referred questions about the reasons for the closures to McDonald’s.

    Lisa McComb, a company spokeswoman, said McDonald’s, along with the independent owner/operators of the individual restaurants, are closing the three eateries “due to the fact that we have lost our lease.”

    McDonald’s independent owners operate about 30 restaurants on military installations. “Whenever we reach the end of a term, whether on a military site or otherwise, we consider many factors in deciding whether to renegotiate a new term,” McComb said.

    She said the owners of the three closing outlets are offering affected employees transfers to other nearby McDonald’s restaurants.

    Martin said new Labor Department rules issued last fall for fast food workers on federal contracts under the Service Contract Act require an increase in the minimum wage for such employees, varying by region. The rules also require payment of new, additional “health and welfare” fringe benefits at a rate of $3.81 per hour to those employees.

    Contractor-operated fast food concessions on military installations fall under those regulations.

    The new rules “have to be part of any contract we negotiate,” said Martin, adding that many vendor partners “have verbally indicated hesitation” to accept contract changes reflecting the revised wage rules.

    “NEXCOM is working closely with our contracted food service providers to assess the impact of the new wage determinations,” she said. “This is part of the quality-of-life benefit we provide to sailors and their families, and our goal is to continue to do that.”

    In addition, President Obama recently signed an executive order that will increase the minimum wage for employees of companies with new federal contracts beginning Jan. 1. At that time, the minimum wage for all federal contract workers — not just those working for fast food concessions — will increase to $10.10 from the current $7.25. It is not yet known how far-reaching the effects will be for contracts on military installations.

    The wage hikes are good news for the many military spouses and veterans who work for these contractors — but only if the concessionaires continue to operate.

    “At the end of the day, there will be fewer jobs,” said the industry source. “And for [the contractors] who stick it out, there will be higher costs and the customers will pay more.”

    The two AAFES contractors asking to be released from their contracts did so after the new Labor Department wage rules were released.

    AAFES officials are declining at this time to name the two name-brand restaurants, said spokesman Chris Ward, although he added that there is no set timeframe for that to happen.

    “Once the paperwork is completed by both parties, they’ll be out of it at that time,” he said.

    Concessions contracts are negotiated on a rolling basis for fast food restaurants on military installations throughout the year, so exchange officials continue to monitor and assess the impact of the new wage rules.

    AAFES officials said the Service Contract Act has had a limited impact on their operations because that exchange service directly operates about 75 percent of its fast food outlets.

    The new wage rules “were a small concern, but not a major concern,” in the I Love Country Cafe eatery’s decision not to renew the contract at Pearl Harbor, said Richard Chan, a spokesman for the company.

    “The Hawaii labor market is tight and we need to pool our resources and move to other areas,” he said, adding that the Navy has posted signs to let the customers know about the impending move.

    “We really enjoy serving the service members of our country,” he said. “Some customers are sad, but our other locations are not too far from the bases.”
    Some fast food outlets closing on military bases | Military Times | militarytimes.com
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

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