Initiative petition campaign launched to require $15 an hour minimum wage, paid sick leave for all Missouri workers

Jobs with Justice campaign looking for volunteers to collect signatures

Publisher Emeritus

APPEALING FOR HELP to collect signatures on an initiative petition to raise Missouri’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and require paid sick time for workers are JwJ Champions Organizer The Rev. Dr. Teresa Mithen Danieley (left) and JwJ Organizer Alicia Hernandez speaking at the Executive Board meeting of the St. Louis Labor Council on May 15. – Labor Tribune photos

An initiative petition campaign to raise Missouri’s minimum wage to $15 and ensure workers have adequate sick leave has been launched by Jobs with Justice (JwJ) with the unanimous endorsement of the St. Louis Labor Council. If successful, the issues would appear on the November 2024 ballot

The “Missourians for Healthy Families & Fair Wages Initiative” would:

• Wages – The measure seeks to gradually raise the states’ minimum wage to $13.75 on Jan. 1,2025 and to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2026. Additionally, increases each year would be pegged to changes in the Consumer Price Index each January. The measure would impact over a half million Missouri workers.

• Sick leave – The initiative seeks to ensure sick leave for workers or to care for a family member accrued at the rate of one hour paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a limit of 40 hours per year for employers with less than 15 workers and limited to 56 hours where there are over 15 workers are employed. The measure would expand the list of eligible people for whom workers can take sick leave to cover grandparents, siblings or others for which an employee has a caregiving responsibility.

Presenting the initiative campaign to the St. Louis Labor Council Executive Board on May 15, JwJ Champions Organizer The Rev. Dr. Teresa Mithen Danieley and JwJ Organizer Alicia Hernandez outlined the drive to get signatures across Missouri, at least five percent of the registered voters in at least six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

Organizations that want to help gather signatures can get details on how to provide support by contacting Hernandez at 314-780-5054 or email

Rev. Danieley pointed out the need for this legislation:

  • At full-time, minimum wage workers today earn less than $500 a week.
  • Over 200,000 Missourians lack access to any paid time off, forcing them to work sick or lose a paycheck.
  • Over 500,000 Missourians would see a raise within two years of passage.
  • The economy will prosper: the Federal Reserve of Chicago estimates that for every minimum wage worker raise of $1 there will be $3,500 in new spending the following year.

“This is an effort we all need to get behind,” said Labor Council President Pat White. He encouraged unions to help staff the signature collection effort.


  • I’m hopeful our Show-Me state will lead the way by example for other states in treating all workers with dignity and respect. Increasing minimum wage for all, including sick leave and health care is good for families, children, our local economies, and our communities throughout our beautiful state of Missouri and bordering states.


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