County Budget provides “path” to Living Wages for Some but Falls Short for Many Workers

Last night the ACC Mayor & Commission adopted a budget for the 2017 fiscal year that created a path for nearly 100 part-time county workers to be paid a living wage, but left uncertainty for the remaining workers.

Since the fall of 2015, Athens for Everyone has been fighting for all county employees to be paid a living wage of $10.17/hr (or higher). Progress has been made but much work is still to be done.

The County will take on a wage-study and classification project that should raise the hourly wage for about 100 of the 240 County workers being paid less than a MIT-researched Living Wage for Athens, to $10.17/hr or greater. This classification should be done by January 1.

An unofficial timeline has been created to raise the other 140 jobs to, or above, a living wage eventually also.

“Even though we did not see funds to pay living wages to all ACCUG employees, we are hopeful the commissioners and staff will keep to their word,” said Drew Hooks, Workers Rights Campaign Coordinator for Athens for Everyone. “We will continue to push the mayor and commission until living wages are paid to all part-time, seasonal and temporary employees. It is their moral obligation as employers, and it is their economic responsibility to curb poverty through paying higher wages. If we want an Athens that is affordable for everyone, then the local government needs to set the example and pay their workers living wages.”

Look for a detailed breakdown of the Living Wage story later this week here at

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