Wisconsin Jobs Now executive director Martha De La Rosa applauded the efforts of living wage advocates in Eau Claire, who succeeded in passing a countywide living wage ordinance on Tuesday, July 19, 2016.
“By establishing a living wage requirement for anyone who wants to do business with county government, Eau Claire County Supervisors have shown that they value both the people who benefit from county services and the workers who provide those services.
“Like Eau Claire County, communities across America are taking the lead in raising wages, and the Eau Claire County Board has set an example it can be proud of, and which other Wisconsin municipalities should follow.
“Working families across Wisconsin are struggling to make ends meet, and many businesses are facing a hiring crisis because wages are so low. The best thing local governments can do to boost their economies is to raise wages, because when underpaid works get a raise they spend most of that money in the local economy.
“The grassroots network of local folks who organized for many months to pass Eau Claire’s living wage ordinance should be proud of their efforts to create economic security for their neighbors. They have proven that progressive change is possible even in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin Jobs Now played a significant role in the Eau Claire living wage campaign and we will continue to support the efforts of local advocates around the state who are organizing for progress and economic security in their communities,” concluded De La Rosa.
Eau Claire County’s proposed living wage ordinance is closely aligned with the existing pay scale of county employees, and would go into effect on January 1, 2017. The proposal calls for a living wage of $11.93 an hour in 2017, or 100% of the federal poverty level, and would climb to $14.94 in 2021, or 115% of the federal poverty level. The proposal calls for the living wage to remain at 115% of the federal poverty level after 2021.