January 9, 2019


$15/Hour Minimum Wage coming in 2019 for Korean Women’s Association Employees – More Than 1200 Employees Will Receive Bigger Paychecks in January

TACOMA, WA – December 17, 2018 – Korean Women’s Association (KWA) announces a bold move to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all KWA employees across Western Washington beginning January 1, 2019.

Discussions to implement the agency-wide decision started a year ago between KWA Executive Director Troy Christensen and KWA Board of Trustees. At the December Board meeting, the proposal to increase KWA starting wage received a unanimous vote of approval. “As an organization designed to help people find ways out of poverty, it was impossible to justify paying some of our staff wages that kept them in poverty. Non-profits survive off government grants and donations. This move was not an easy one financially for us, but it is the right one,” says KWA Board Chair Grace (Myung Sook) Kim.

The increase will affect all new hires, as well as more than 1200 current employees who will see the raise implemented in the first paycheck of the New Year. That number includes In-home caregivers working from our twelve Western Washington offices, as well as staff in other programs including domestic violence, immigration, nutrition, and health navigation. This decision was influenced and supported by KWA’s partnership with SEIU775 and other in-home care providers. SEIU775 was instrumental in getting union wages increased through DSHS and the Washington State Legislature.

Creating a sustainable life is at the core of KWA’s mission. “As a social justice organization, we believe that social and racial equity are best expressed through pay, benefits, and working conditions,” says Troy Christensen, KWA Executive Director. With the full support of KWA’s Board of Trustees, the agency can uphold this philosophy with its employees who drive the work that has resulted in KWA’s significant community impact for more than 46 years.

Media Contact: Kerri O’Farrell, Communications Manager / kerri@kwacares.org / 253.538.8345