Supporters and opponents of a ballot question that would eliminate the lower minimum wage for tipped workers converged on Beacon Hill Tuesday, with intermingling chants of “One fair wage” and “Save our tips.”

Before testifying in front of lawmakers, the two sides held back-to-back press conferences on Beacon Street to make their case. When proponents ran long, opponents marched across the street to claim space on the plaza outside the State House, chanting over the speakers.

The ballot question, backed by the national One Fair Wage campaign, would gradually phase out the $6.75 hourly minimum wage for tipped workers by raising it in increments until it meets Massachusetts' overall minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Alex Galimberti, a former restaurant worker, said the change would correct what he described as a "constant reality" during his time in the industry: "that you never knew if you were being paid right."

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association opposes the initiative, which MRA President and CEO Stephen Clark said would result in "lost wages for employees, higher costs for consumers, higher costs for operators."

Customers would still be allowed to tip if the initiative passes, but the role tips play in a restaurant worker’s compensation would change. Instead of making up part of a worker’s base pay, the tips would come on top of a wage of at least $15 an hour.

Minimum wage in Massachusetts rose to $15 an hour when in 2018 lawmakers struck a deal to avoid a series of ballot questions that year involving the sales tax, worker pay and benefits. Employers can pay tipped workers a lower rate of $6.75 an hour, as long as their tips bring them up to $15. If the hourly pay plus tips do not add up to $15, the law requires employers to make up the difference.

Saru Jayaraman, president and co-founder of One Fair Wage, said seven states have laws requiring that tipped workers receive a full minimum wage, with their gratuities on top.

"Tipped restaurant workers actually have the highest rates of single mothers of any occupation, the highest rates of both poverty and food stamp use of any occupations and the highest rates of sexual harassment of any occupation, because they have to put up with so much to get those tips," Jayaraman said. "All of that got much worse with the pandemic. With the pandemic, workers reported tips went down because sales went down."

The ballot question would bring the pay floor for tipped workers up to meet the full $15 minimum wage by Jan. 1, 2029. It would also allow employers to require their waitstaff, service employees and bartenders "participate in a tip pool," where workers' tips are combined and shared among staff, including those who do not serve guests.

The tip pool language is at the heart of a lawsuit Clark filed with individual restaurant owners and servers, seeking to keep the question off the ballot. The legal challenge argues that, by combining the wage change and the permission for tip pools, the question improperly mixes unrelated subjects.

Restaurateur Doug Bacon, who rallied against the ballot question, said the servers and bartenders at his seven Boston bars and restaurants "work very hard, and they deserve the tips they earn."

"My customers enjoy tipping when they receive great service and great hospitality," Bacon said. "They don't want to know that their tips are going to be shared with a manager, a bookkeeper, a dishwasher, or the cleaning people. My customers enjoy the great hospitality that my people deliver, and we want to keep this system the way it works."

Lawmakers have until May 1 to decide whether to pass the initiative or put forward a substitute. If they take no action, the campaign backing the ballot question will have to gather another round of signatures to earn a spot on November’s ballot.