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Concerning the Adoption of a “Living Wage Education Campaign” to Educate and Advocate for Living Wages for All State Employees



September 7 , 2005

WHEREAS the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of Employees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the representation of staff concerns to University officials, State Legislators, and the citizenry of North Carolina; and


WHEREAS wages for State workers are failing to provide adequate income to provide the basic requirements for families to live and prosper, such as food security, access to affordable housing and access to affordable health care coverage; and


WHEREAS state workers have had grossly inadequate pay raises over the last five years, with some years lacking any monetary increase at all, and while the

the lack of raises affects all state Employees, those workers at the lowest pay grades are increasingly excluded from access to affordable housing and affordable health insurance


Year           CPI-U*      COLA+      DIFFERENCE

2000            3.4%          2.2%           -1.2%

2001            1.6%          1.9%           0.3%

2002            2.4%          0.0%           -2.4%

2003            1.9%          0.0%           -1.9%

2004            2.0%          2.5%           0.5%

(or $1000)

* Consumer Price Index Urban; + Legislative Increase; Source: NC Justice Center

WHEREAS half of all state Employees earn less than $30,000 a year, the average salary of the 46,773 workers in the bottom sixteen pay grades (50-65; constituting 56% of all state Employees) being inadequate to support a two-person family living in the urban areas of the state where most state Employees are located, and more than 63,000 of the state’s full-time, permanent workers being unable to support a family of four on their earnings



THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Employee Forum adopt and support an ongoing, non-partisan “Living Wage Education Campaign” to educate and advocate for living wages for all state Employees and to explain how the salaries of all state Employees would be increased by adoption of a living wage, and to further inform the wider community of the beneficial impact of a living wage on the economy of North Carolina.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Forum seek the advice and input of the University’s new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity in its efforts to inform and educate the wider community on the pressing need for all state Employees to earn a living wage for the valuable work they do.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill strongly recommends that the Chancellor and his Administration convey and support publicly the concepts of this resolution in dealings with the University’s Office of the President and the North Carolina State Legislature.


Signed on Behalf of the Delegates of the Employee Forum,


Chair, Tommy Griffin


Ref: 1,2, “Working Hard Is Still Not Enough” by Sorien Schmidt and Elizabeth Jordan North Carolina Justice and Community Development Center



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