StepUp Durham becomes a Certified Living Wage Employer

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StepUp Durham is pleased to announced that it has joined the ranks of other Certified Living Wage employers in Durham! That means that all of the women and men working at StepUp Durham receive a wage of at least $12.53 per hour. 

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The Durham Living Wage Project (DLWP) was founded in early 2015 with four main objectives: (1) to acknowledge and reward existing living wage employers, (2) to connect conscious consumers to businesses paying a living wage, (3) to provide employers with the inventive to increase workers’ wages to a living wage, and (4) to help promote a just and sustainable local economy. Since the project’s launch, the DLWP has certified 80+ employers in Durham- many of which raised wages to meet our criteria.

A “living wage” is the minimum a worker must earn to afford basic needs – such as housing, food, and transportation – without public or private assistance. Durham City and County define the 2015-2016 living wage at $12.53 per hour, based on a formula involving the federal poverty level. 

The Durham Living Wage Project recognizes that the minimum wage is not enough. Although Durham is thriving in many ways, our county is home to a low-wage workforce struggling to make ends meet. Almost one in five of the county’s residents (over 46,000 people) lived in poverty in 2013 and 53 percent of renters were unable to afford the fair market rent for a 2-bedroom apartment.

A full-time worker who earns a wage of $12.53 instead of the legal minimum of $7.25 would gross another $10,000 per year.  That increase can lift a household out of poverty. Because low-wage earners spend the money locally, a living wage, supports local businesses, creates jobs, and strengthens communities. 

Local employers that pay a living wage are part of a community that aims to do well by doing good. Living wage certification is free to employers.

For more information on the program or how to become a certified living wage employer visit our website at www.durhamlivingwage.org or email livingwage@durhampa.org