LIVING WAGE Action Alert: Petition to Insure Tompkins County-Contracted Workers Paid a Living Wage!

In response to pressure from the Tompkins County Workers’ Center and a group of concerned citizens, the Tompkins County Legislature has created a Living Wage Working Group to review its current Living Wage Policy as it relates to businesses that have service contracts with the County.

The TCWC’s goal is to ensure that the Tompkins County Legislature’s commitment to a Living Wage extends to individuals employed by businesses and organizations that contract with the County. Our work, and why we come to you now, is to insure that the Legislature will strengthen the language in its service contracts to require sub-contractors to pay at least a Living Wage, recently updated by Alternatives Federal Credit Union to $12.62/hour or $13.94/hour without health insurance.

We expect the issue to move from the Working Group to the full Legislature in June and July. (Since this is a County issue, we ask that you sign only if you live in Tompkins County).

We recognize that some local nonprofit agencies truly may not be able to afford to pay their workers at least a Living Wage. We do not want to risk a reduction in nonprofit services to the community, thus we are agreeing to the potential of a small increase in County taxes to help subsidize the Living Wage where absolutely necessary.

Sign the Petition That Says: I Am in Support of a Living Wage for All Tompkins County Contracted Workers and Workers Employed by Businesses That Receive Economic or Community Development Assistance

The petition also references how various governmental entities locally deal with economic development issues. The Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), which holds final authority in approving local tax abatements and tax subsidies, just granted a sizeable tax abatement over 10 years to what will be known as Hotel Ithaca (part of the multinational Marriott Hotel chain).

The TCWC believes that all economic development projects in Tompkins County that are subsidized by local taxpayers through tax abatements must require the employers to pay at least a Living Wage for the jobs created as a result of tax abatements.

Our second petition is addressed to ReCommunity Recycling, the national corporation that contracts with Tompkins County to operate our recycling and solid waste facility. Our work for a Living Wage has been invigorated by the commitment shown by Stanley McPherson and Milton Webb, two workers at ReCommunity Recycling, who are making $9.00/hour. Stanley and Milton work tirelessly to speak out and speak up in support of a Living Wage for ALL workers. Their advocacy and activism includes attending County Legislature and sub-committee meetings, community outreach and education, and the production of a regularly scheduled show on Pegasys TV entitled What Matters at the Roundtable.

Sign the Petition That Says: Recycling Isn’t Sustainable Unless the Workers Are Paid a Wage That Can Sustain Them