Begaye calls for general wage increase to build tribal workforce

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye was one of three leaders to present a State of Tribal Nations Address during the 23rd Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day Jan. 10, 2018 in Phoenix.

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Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye was one of three leaders to present a State of Tribal Nations Address during the 23rd Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day Jan. 10, 2018 in Phoenix.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — In prioritizing job creation and economic development, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye supports a general wage increase that will build and retain the tribal workforce.

“Our employees are underpaid, overworked and, in many cases, not fairly compensated,” Begaye said. “In my administration, I’ve consistently advocated for a wage increase for all employees.”

Begaye anticipates that a strong wage increase will encourage tribal members to come home and stay employed on the Navajo Nation.

“Many employees make less on the Nation but they return because they want to be home,” he said. “They accept lower salaries in return for being home and close to their families.”

A general wage increase is a step toward addressing the disparity that exists between salaries offered on and off the Navajo Nation. An increase will also help single-income families make ends meet.

“Our goal is to offer our tribal members competitive wages so they’ll come home to help us build a better Navajo Nation,” Begaye said. “Addressing a general wage increase is a critical way to keep our people employed within their communities. The Nation must stay competitive to grow economic development while creating a strong, skilled workforce.”

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