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After an open-records request showing only 11 county employees making under $10.17 an hour (the living wage at the time according to MIT’s calculator), the A4E Workers Rights initiative and the Economic Justice Coalition joined together to publicly call upon the Mayor and Commission to fully fund all employees at a living wage. Dozens of Athenians were also in attendance to support the policy, and showed their support by rising from their seats.
As a result, living wages were included in the mayor and commission’s Goals and Objectives for FY 2017.
The local government had already granted all full-time employees a living wage, but many part-time and temporary employees were not paid at this level. As it turned out, there were many more than 11 local government employees not paid adequately at this time, as the local government would later discover.
Athens for Everyone had been gathering petition signatures calling upon the local government to pay all employees a living wage since November. On February 16, over 650 petition signatures were delivered.
With the FY 2017 county budget being finalized, the A4E Workers Rights campaign called upon on members to send comments and come and speak in favor of living wages at the upcoming May 17 budget meeting. Tim Denson crafted this video to help spread the message.