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Cherokee Nation extends minimum wage increase to business employees

Cherokee Nation gives raise to business employees
Posted at 4:46 PM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 19:10:38-04

CATOOSA, Okla. — Sheyenne Christie works on the casino floor at Hard Rock. She tells 2 Works for You when the raise to $11 an hour goes into effect in October, her goal is greater independence.

"I currently live with my parents still. Hopefully now that we get a pay raise I can get my own apartment and start my life on my own," Christie said.

Other employees at Hard Rock Casino hope to put money into savings, and use the extra cash to spend time with family.

"We have two kids so it would be nice to plan like a Disney cruise and now we can have a nest egg and start tucking away and plan a long family vacation, make some memories," Deb Kercher said.

Some Cherokee workers will have wages go up to $12.50 an hour. Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said he hopes this will have an economic impact across Green Country.

"To increase the pay, I hope it extends their buying power. These are Cherokee families that we're talking about and it will make their lives better and that feels good knowing that we're sharing this prosperity with those families," Hoskin Jr. said.

Hard Rock staff said this will also help with hiring.

"Being able to keep your employees and have that retention there and not only just your employees but they stay long enough you can be a family and you're not just coworkers anymore," Kercher said.

The pay raise for government employees is already in effect, and the business side will see their increase starting on October first.

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