CONCHO — The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma will raise the minimum wage of tribal employees to $9 an hour — a 24 percent increase from the tribe’s current standard of $7.25 per hour.
Tribal legislators passed a resolution on Saturday in favor of the wage increase, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Gov. Eddie Hamilton has said he will sign the bill.
“We have been having talks back and forth between the Legislature and governor’s office, and we feel that it would help our people,” tribal Lt. Gov. Cornell Sankey said. “I guess we want to let our tribal employes know that we hear them and we want to be helpful.”
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes have 570 tribal employees, but only about 20 to 25 workers will see more pay because of the minimum wage increase, according to information provided by the tribe. The Cheyenne and Arapaho-owned Lucky Star Casinos in Canton and Watonga increased wages for casino workers to $9 an hour earlier this year. The tribes operate five casinos in Oklahoma.
Eugene Mosqueda, Arapaho District 1 legislator, who co-sponsored the wage increase legislation, said the raise would provide a better standard of living for tribal employees.