We won $15/hr! Now for a real living wage.

People's Alliance has been fighting for living wages in our community since 1997, when we helped to secure passage of the first municipal living wage ordinance in NC by the Durham City Council. This week, we — following the leadership of the Durham Association of Educators and with other partners like Durham for All and Durham Beyond Policing — helped secure another win for economic justice: the Durham Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to make a $15/hour minimum wage for school workers retroactive to July 2020. We sent this note of thanks to our county commissioners and are sharing it here, too.

Dear Commissioners:

The People’s Alliance congratulates Durham Public School classified workers, their union, the Durham Association of Educators, and the newly-elected Durham County Commission on a historic moment: unanimously voting to make a $15/hour minimum wage for school workers retroactive to July 2020. This fight has gone on for 5 long years.

In recent weeks, hundreds of Durham residents have emailed the Commission to support raising school workers’ wages, engaging in local politics in high numbers and with great energy. This email campaign occurs during a deadly pandemic that has made “packing the Commission chamber” impossible. The People’s Alliance applauds the enthusiasm that residents have demonstrated for taking care of our county’s public workers and we sincerely thank the County Commission for voting unanimously on this important measure. We see each of you and we appreciate each of you.

Unfortunately, since this campaign did take five years to win, the $15/hour benchmark is sadly out of date as a measure of a “living wage.” Commissioner Allam has announced the next goal: the Fight for $23. The People’s Alliance is on board. 


The People’s Alliance

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