While the president and our governor pretend that people can survive on $10/hour or less, the hotel workers' union just extended their contract to grant maids and hospitality employees yearly wage increases of $1/hour for the next ten years, giving them an opportunity to make nearly $70K a year.

“The long-term nature of this agreement gives the hard working women and men of New York City’s hotel industry job security and peace of mind," Peter Ward, the president of the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council said in a statement. "It also speaks to the Union’s commitment to working with our partners in the unionized hotel industry to help it remain competitive and grow stronger."

Currently hotel and hospitality workers can make a yearly wage of $50,000, and their contract was secure until 2019. But the steady success of the hotel industry (the goal for the city to reap $70 billion in tourism revenue by 2015 is not fanciful) and a plan for the union's pension fund to purchase a tract of land in Downtown Brooklyn for a medical facility for its members presented an opportunity to strengthen the terms.

“While we cannot comment on the specific terms prior to ratification, we are proud to report that this has been an extraordinary, collaborative process among all the stakeholders involved that allowed for creative solutions and a fair contract which reflects the value we place on our hotel workers," said Lisa Linden, a representative for the hotel industry.

The contract must be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor before going into effect.

Last week we asked five members of the union who work at the Resorts World Casino in Queens how their lives changed after they saw their salaries doubled in the fall.