Not all employers see minimum wage increase as bad for business

Not all employers see minimum wage increase as bad for business

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The minimum wage in Arizona is now $10 an hour, up from $8.05.

19 states raised their minimum wage on Sunday, Jan. 1 but Arizona voters approved the biggest raise by a 58 percent to 42 percent margin.

Arizona's minimum wage will increase to $12 by 2020.

Many low-wage companies say the increase will force them to cut workers, hours or at worst, force them out of business.

But not all companies feel that way.

Catalina In-home Services, which was founded in 1982, says the wage increase is a benefit to its workers and the company.

It has 65 to 70 certified nurse's assistants who provide in home care, "but we can't keep up with demand," said Demion Clinco, the Vice President. "We have to turn some clients away."

Catalina has paid its staff above the minimum wage since opening its doors, in large part because it needs to keep skilled care.

It's in-home caregivers must take a 100-hour course before being hired.

The workers provide care which keeps patients out of nursing homes and assisted living and keeps them in their homes, which is less expensive.

The higher wages keep Catalina competitive in a competitive business but also reduces turnover.

"It's expensive to train new workers," Clinco said.

But it's not just the turnover which has Catalina supporting the increase.

It pays its workers more than $12 an hour now and will continue to raise it during the first quarter.

The higher pay means the workers don't have to work more than one job which gives them time to spend with family and reduce stress.

"It makes them more productive," Clinco said, "and happier."

But he also believes that it will be better for the overall economy in the future.

"I think ultimately what we'll see is a stronger economy because people will have a stronger buying power," he said. "We'll see low-wage workers be able to go out and spend more and give a boost to the local economy."

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