#WageWeek July 2015

Across the country, advocates, workers and business leaders are joining together to call for wage standards that can boost the economy and ensure that working families can make ends meet. For too long wages have eroded in the face of rising costs for the basics—food, gas and a roof over ones’ head—and all of our economic security is held back as a result. 

It’s time for policymakers at the state and local level to raise the wage—everyone benefits from workers who make enough to support their families, spend their paychecks at local businesses, and plan for their futures.

Local communities across North Carolina are already pursuing creative strategies to encourage employers to raise the wage, whether through certification efforts that publicly recognize businesses that are raising the wage for their employees, campaigns to ensure that local government employees receive a living wage, and efforts to ensure that all economic development incentive deals require employers to pay a living wage.

Here are a number of communities taking the lead on these important efforts:

At the same time as we celebrate the work of local living wage campaigns, we need to lift up the importance of raising the wage in the General Assembly, where a number of bills await action that would raise the state’s minimum wage and index it to inflation.

These ideas should be debated in the final weeks of the session and policymakers should establish a wage floor in our state that reflects our shared value of rewarding hard work. Raising the minimum wage is good for workers, good for businesses, and good for the overall economy.

This #wageweek we hope you will consider using the following tools to start a conversation about wages in your community and take action.

  • NC Living Income Standard provides an estimate of the hourly wage required to meet a family’s basic needs in each of the state’s 100 counties. For more on how to define a living wage check out this Policy Basic.
  • Visit our partner Just Economics toolkit on starting a living wage certification program in your community which would provide businesses with voluntary options for raising their workers' pay and boosting local economies.
  • Secure your local leaders commitment to raising the wage. If you aren’t in one of the eight counties or cities that have adopted a living wage ordinance or raised the minimum pay schedule for public employees, consider working with your local elected officials to raise the wage. Or urge your local leaders to adopt a resolution calling on state policymakers to remove barriers to raising the minimum wage in North Carolina. Sample resolutions here and here.