GREENSBORO, N.C. — The debate over raising the minimum wage is going on across the country.
Now, officials in Greensboro are working to make higher wages a reality for city staff.
According to the 2014 Living Income Standard, it takes making $14.78 an hour for an adult to make ends meet if they have one child.
Carolyn Smith, state director for a group called Working America, says 368 workers for the City of Greensboro make less than that.
“The workers we talked to — from the ones that clean our roads, to the ones who clean our bathrooms and the ones that work in our libraries — they love their job,” said Smith. “What people don’t realize is a lot of these workers are receiving public assistance.”
Working America held a meeting about raising workers’ wages with other groups Tuesday night.
Several members of the Greensboro City Council, including Jamal Fox, attended the meeting.
“We’re not saying no. What we’re saying is, how can we make this happen moving forward?” said Fox. “We’re trying to figure out where we can invest. It may come out that we can’t do $15/hour coming in next budget. We may have to start low and work up to that level. We’re working with staff on that now.”
Fox hopes the City of Greensboro will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for city workers by the 2022-2023 fiscal year.