Discussion of Living Wage at Joint Meeting

Last Tuesday (September 30), the Orange County Board of Commissioners, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education, and Orange County Board of Education held a joint meeting with an agenda that included overviews of the budgets for both school districts, the possbility of cross-district courses, and "affirming the shared goal" of a living wage for school system workers. Although the meeting lasted close to 2 hours, the topic of a living wage held the floor for 6 minutes.

A representative from Orange County Schools reaffirmed their commitment to pay their workers a wage of $12.76 an hour, although Commissioner McKee noted that, although called a living wage, this is "not a housing wage."

A representative from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system state that over the last 15 years, classified employees have averaged a 1.8 percent pay increase each year. However, this year, all classified employees will receive at a 3 percent increase. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will look into UNC's wage plan and the county's living wage level as they determine how best to enact a living wage for their employees.

When asked, the CH-CCS representative did not know how many district employees currently make below the county level wage or the wage rate of contracted workers.



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