The Alachua County Labor Coalition has kicked off a campaign to pass a Living Wage Ordinance for workers employed by Alachua County and its contractors. This Ordinance sets the starting pay at 125% of the poverty level as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and automatically indexes the wage to cost-of-living increases. The Ordinance will be phased in over 5 years, going from $11.66/hour in 2016 to an estimated $14.57/hour by 2021. This pay increase will immediately benefit 115 underpaid County workers, mostly custodians and laborers, and will affect approximately 287 workers by 2021. County government is the 9th largest employer in our county, so these wage increases will likely have a positive ripple effect throughout our community through increased consumer spending and a higher paid workforce.
The City of Gainesville passed their version of a Living Wage Ordinance in 2003 which set the minimum wage for city workers and their contractors. Unfortunately, the Gainesville ordinance also has numerous loopholes that encourage outsourcing as a way to circumvent the true spirit of the ordinance. In moving forward with the Alachua County Living Wage Ordinance, it’s important that we plug these leaks.
All workers deserve a livable wage. With the federal and state government unable to increase the minimum wage due to obstructionist elements in Congress we must act locally in whatever capacity we can.
To get involved in the campaign for a living wage in Alachua County please join us at our monthly meetings, fill out our poverty questionnaire, sign our online petition, download our petition to help us gather signatures.