July 2017 Newsletter

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Making Living Wages Work JUly 2017

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"The living wage that we pay brings us together as a community.  We lean on each other."

-Ari Sanders
Public House General Manager
Mystery Brewing, Hillsborough

 

NEWS AND EVENTS

Orange County Living Wage, with Durham Living Wage Project and Asheville’s Just Economics, is planning a month-long campaign in September to increase consumer awareness and support for living wage employers. We’ll feature daily tweets with special promotions from our employers. If you’re an employer, email claire@orangecountylivingwage.org with news, events, discounts, contests, and deals you’d like to see highlighted. 

If you’re a supporter and you’re not using Twitter, there’s plenty of time to sign up and join the Twitter-verse. Follow us @oc_livingwage for the latest wage and certification news. And be ready for living-wage-employer-focused fun in September.

 

our living wage roster
has reached 126 employers!

We are thrilled to announce our most recently certified living wage employers.

Melissa Designer Jewelry                   
Great Clips in Carrboro and Hillsborough
The Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History                         
Holliday PLLC Certified Public Accountants

Please find our complete list of living wage employers here. Bring them your business and your support this week.

 

 

oclw is working with durham living wage project on a food-and-beverage certified working group

Our goal is to certify more restaurants as living wage employers.

“Food preparation and serving related occupations” is the third largest category of employment in North Carolina. Take a look at this page from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2016 database (www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nc.htm) showing average annual salaries.

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That’s nearly 800,000 people making about $20K per year. We can do better! With your support, and the help of our current employers, we will build this critical part of our living wage roster. Here’s a list of Orange County’s living-wage-paying food and beverage employers. Bring them your business when you’re hungry, thirsty, or out on the town.

Beer Study
Glasshalfull
Hot Tin Roof
Mystery Brewing Company
Steel String Brewery
Curryblossom Cafe
Grey Squirrel Coffee
Joe Van Gogh
RISE Carrboro Biscuits and Donuts
Weaver Street Market

 


 

living wages still a work in progress for chapel hill-carrboro city schools

OCLW met with Board of Education Chair James Barrett recently to talk about moving this issue forward and generating support for contract custodians to receive living wages. Currently, the new contract for contract workers (cleaning schools at night) is not at living wages.  Mr. Barrett suggests that living wage supporters contact the Board about custodians and contract work. You can email him and all Board members at: allboardmembers@chccs.k12.nc.us.

We’ll keep you posted throughout the year on opportunities to speak and advocate for living wages for all school workers. And, see the last link in “Wage, Income, and Employment News” for a story on how pervasive subcontracting has become, and how it is fundamentally changing the nature of work and employment.

 

thanks to beer study for hosting our employer networking night in june

Curryblossom Café cooked delicious food for us at a great price. And Beer Study put a tasty summertime Steel String brew on tap for us.

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Living wage employers were well represented – and their products much enjoyed.

Thanks to all attendees and contributors for helping to make the evening a success.

 

carol woods: living wage
employer of the month

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Chapel Hill’s Carol Woods has long been a thriving community for retirees. The Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offers a full spectrum of care, from cottages, to one-bedroom apartments, assisted living, and nursing. Carol Woods also boasts a huge variety of activities and amenities. Great as all that sounds, those features alone don’t truly distinguish Carol Woods from other CCRCs.

Where Carol Woods is different, says Ken Reeb, Vice President of Finance and Planning, is in its Early Acceptance program and Plan B pricing. Carol Woods pioneered the early acceptance concept five years ago. With early acceptance, a resident buys into Carol Woods but decides on their own timeline for moving – if they decide to move at all. They can remain in their own home, with full access to all Carol Woods’ facilities, programs, and amenities. Or, they can move onto campus whenever their choice of housing becomes available.

Reeb says the program ensures potential residents that higher levels of care will be available when needed. Our of their first Early Acceptance cohort, about a third have decided to move to campus.

Plan B pricing is an entrance fee plus a monthly fee – again, not so different from other CCRCs. But Carol Woods’ fees frontload a portion of the cost of higher levels of care, so that when a resident needs access to assisted living or nursing, they are not exposed to the full cost. Carol Woods protects the frailer members of their community physically and financially, says Reeb. Residents pay about half the typical costs for assisted living and nursing.

The bottom line is that potential Carol Woods residents have a range of options for excellent care as they age. And a big part of that care comes from staff earning living wages (or higher).

“There is a huge correlation between the service you provide and the degree to which you compensate your people,” says Reeb. “Our residents, management, and board get that. Carol Woods has paid a living wage since 1999.” And they offer an excellent benefits package, including payment of full health insurance premiums.

Maya Brown, a Certified Nursing Assistant, says: “because Carol Woods pays its employees well, it is a much friendlier and more cooperative place to work. The work ethic here is better and I think our nursing staff is very motivated to do a good job.”

Of Carol Woods’ 350 employees, more than a quarter have been on staff from 5 to 15 years – a great benchmark in an industry that sees high turnover among staff.

Virginia Steffensen has been at Carol Woods while she recovers from a broken shoulder. “The Carol Woods Rehab Center may not be home, but it sure feels homey,” says Steffensen. “The entire staff is nurturing, while also working me hard so I can get back on my feet again. When I do get home, I’ll miss all the new friends I have made here at Carol Woods.”

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Virginia Steffensen and Carol Woods Resident Life Specialist Phyllis S.

You can find Carol Woods at www.carolwoods.org or at 919-968-4511. Learn more about Carol Woods as an employer here.

 

volunteers needed

Would you like to help Orange County Living Wage broaden its impact and outreach? We’re looking to staff tables at various events throughout the fall. More volunteers will help us reach more Orange County residents and potential businesses. Email us at info@orangecountylivingwage.org if you can help.

 

wage, income, and employment news

Recently a vigorous debate has taken place on the pros and cons of Seattle’s minimum wage raises. Please read the following three stories for more information.

From the New York Times: Minimum wage and job loss: one alarming Seattle study is not the last word

From Economic Policy Institute: The 'high road' Seattle Labor Market and the Effects of the Minimum Wage

From Bloomberg: High minimum wage has winners and losers

From Marketplace: Minimum wage workers tell their stories

A summary, from Axios, of pay gains among low-wage workers: Low-income pay growing at fastest rate since recession. NC, sadly, does not have a share in this story.

On state rollbacks (like Missouri’s) of minimum wage increases: As cities raise minimum wages many states are rolling them back

And finally, a story from Harvard Business Review on how subcontracting and temp work are reshaping the framework of employment.

 
Thank you for all of your support in this voluntary effort to promote a living wage in Orange County.
 
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Orange County Living Wage Steering Committee
Mike Andrews, Susan Attermeier, John Barrow, Kimberly Brewer, Victoria Freeman, Steve Jenks, Chris Lathrop, Mark Marcoplos, and Susan Romaine
Copyright © 2017 Orange County Living Wage, All rights reserved.

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