January 2019 Newsletter


Making Living Wages Work
January 2019

Living Wage Roster Grows

Since we started roasting coffee in Carrboro in 2004, it has been our goal to be not only a member of our community, but a support system for maintaining the quality of life here. We have been fortunate to be able to offer living wages all along, and welcome the opportunity to validate this through OCLW, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. This way, we can work together to continue to improve the quality of life for individuals, and the well-being of our community at large. - Scott Conary, President, Carrboro Coffee Roasters

Orange County Living Wage’s roster continues to grow, with over 170 certified employers paying living wages to all full- and part-time staff. The newest additions to our living wage roster include Bud Matthews Services, Carrboro Coffee Roasters, Crete Coatings, and Chapel Hill Magazine.

Shannon Media, Inc., DBA Chapel Hill Magazine is the premier lifestyle publication in our area. Want to be in-the-know about the restaurant scene, arts and entertainment, business, do-gooders in the community, fashion, weddings, home, and garden?  Chapel Hill Magazine has it all. And the magazine publisher now pays a living wage to boot.

“Shannon Media’s only asset is our people and we want to invest in that asset as much as we can while growing a business with a healthy profit margin,” says Chief Operating Officer Rory Gillis. “Over the last few years, we’ve committed to higher wages, health care benefits, and paid time off for our employees. It is really expensive, but it is even more expensive to see turnover. At the end of the day, I want to build a company that I want to work in every day.”

To support this committed living wage employer, subscribe to Chapel Hill Magazine or pick up the next issue on a newsstand. Shannon Media, Inc. also publishes Durham Magazine, Chatham Magazine, and Taste the Event.

For descriptions and locations of all 171 living-wage-certified employers, go here. Give these employers your business and your thanks.

UNC Health Care Employees Get a Pay Raise

Starting this week, UNC Health Care is giving 9,000 of its Triangle employees a pay raise. These employees now earn $14 per hour, and will earn a minimum of $15 per hour in July. Among the beneficiaries of the pay hike are housekeepers, cashiers, stock clerks, and nursing assistants working at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, UNC REX Healthcare in Raleigh, and UNC Physicians Network in the Triangle.

“I think it will definitely give me some wiggle room to be able to enjoy more things,” says Rex Hospital nursing assistant Meredith Pounds. “I’m in school, so money’s tight, so the pay raise will definitely help to pay bills.”

UNC Health Care is allocating a hefty $15 million annually for Meredith and thousands of her co-workers to have more wiggle room. “We are committed to providing a competitive living wage to support our workforce,” UNC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper said when announcing the raise on December 11. “We are proud to employ the best people to fulfill our mission of caring for patients and their families, and offering a higher living wage is an important step we are able to take.”

We’ll be watching closely as Dr. Roper brings his commitment to living wages to his new job as interim president of the UNC System.

Living Wages in the News

National Employment Law Project report shows that millions of workers around the nation are ringing in the New Year with a badly-needed boost to their paychecks. Nineteen states and 21 cities and counties are increasing their minimum wage in 2019, with many reaching $15 an hour.

The gap between American workers’ wages and their productivity is at an all-time high. To find out what workers should be making if wages had kept pace with productivity, check out the Economic Policy Institute’s “potential wages” calculator. For example, a worker making $17,000 per year would be making closer to $30,232 if wages had kept up with productivity over the last three decades.

A recent report by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United shows that restaurants and their workers fare much better in those states that offer just one minimum wage that covers both tipped and non-tipped employees

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, Claire Home, Aparna Jonnal, Mark Marcoplos, Susan Romaine, Ariane Sanders
Copyright © 2017 Orange County Living Wage, All rights reserved.


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