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Siletz Tribe Raises Minimum Wage to $11

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Some employees of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians will see a bump in their next paychecks.

The tribal council recently voted to raise the minimum wage on the reservation from $9.25 an hour to $11 an hour. The increase applies to all tribal enterprise and tribal government employees, including those at Chinook Winds Casino Resort.

Oregon's current minimum wage is currently $9.25, the eighth highest in the nation. The federal minimum is $7.25.

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"The Tribal Council sees the new tribal minimum wage as one way to help employees and their families to make ends meet," Chairwoman Delores Pigsley said in a press release.

The wage increase is retroactive to January 1, 2016, so employees previously earning $9.25/hour will see the higher amount reflected in a retroactive payment. Annually, the increase means an extra $2,704 for a minimum wage employee working 30 hours a week. The additional income is intended to help offset the rising costs of groceries, gas, health care, utilities, rent and recreation, which also benefits the economy.

The Oregon Legislature will consider a bill to raise the state's minimum wage over the next few years. The bill passed the House Business and Labor committee on Monday, reported.

Senate Bill 1532's plan would create three wage tiers: wages would climb to $14.75 in the Portland area over the next six years, $13.50 in semi-urban areas including Bend and Eugene, and $12.50 for sparsely populated areas. Raises increases would begin in June, when they would rise to $9.75 for the first two tiers and $9.50 in the third. Now the bill goes to the full chamber for a final vote.