Living Wage Community Celebration on 1/29!

The Tompkins County Workers’ Center (TCWC) announces that it will hold a Community Celebration on Wednesday, January 29th, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Workers’ Center (115 The Commons/E. Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Ithaca) where free pizza, beer, and wine will be served. The purpose of the celebration is to honor two recent and significant victories in the TCWC’s Living Wage work:

-The successful Living Wage Employer Certification of the City of Ithaca in early December 2013 (the TCWC’s 93rd Living Wage Employer);

-The decision of the Tompkins County Legislature to set up a $100,000 Living Wage Contingency Fund as part of its 2014 Budget in order to begin helping those employers that contract with the County, who couldn’t otherwise afford it, to pay their workers a Living Wage. The County itself is a long-standing Certified Living Wage Employer;

-To honor all of our other 91 Certified Living Wage Employers.

The City of Ithaca employs approximately 515 workers, with about 50 of them being brought up to a Living Wage as a result of the City’s decision to become a Certified Living Wage Employer. This now brings the total of workers employed by a Living Wage Employer to up over 3,020 people.

Tompkins County, this past year, went through a rigorous study of its Living Wage policy as a result of the work of ReCommunity Recycling workers (Solid Waste Division) and the TCWC bringing the issue of too many contracted workers making poverty wages on the County’s dime. The first stage of the process will be for the County to conduct a thorough survey of its contractors to see how many workers doing County ‘work’ are not making a Living Wage. The $100,000 is to assist those employers to pay a Living Wage that may be able to claim reasonable hardship as employers.

The Workers’ Center initiated the Living Wage Employer Certification Program in 2006 to publicly recognize and reward those employers who pay a living wage. Any employer in the private, public, and non-profit sectors is eligible to apply. With your help, we can provide incentives for other employers in our community! Please go to to find out which employers are Living Wage-Certified, as well as to download criteria and an application form. Also, you can invite your friends to our Community Celebration via Facebook by going to