Minimum wage in the Cherokee Nation might soon get a boost.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief-elect Chuck Hoskin Jr. won’t be sworn in until August 14th, but he has already announced plans for his first executive order.
“We’re gonna raise the minimum wage, through executive order and through the council’s budget, to 11 dollars an hour,” said Hoskin.
Minimum wage for the Cherokee Nation is currently $9.50 an hour. This surpasses Oklahoma’s base pay of $7.25, which matches the federal minimum.
Another part of the executive order would raise base pay for those already making between $11 and $15 an hour.
Cherokee Nation officials say the increases will compensate tribal employees for their hard work, increase quality of life, and keep the tribe competitive as an employer.
“They're great public servants. They deliver services to the Cherokee people- they do it with a smile...and they need to be compensated for it,” Hoskin said.
The new wage scale must first be approved by the Council of the Cherokee Nation. If passed, it would go into effect October 1st.