Chapel Hill News

Carrboro joins ranks of living-wage employers in Orange County

Orange County Living Wage (OCLW), a nonprofit organization offering a voluntary certification program for living wage employers in Orange County, recently certified Town of Carrboro as its 65th living wage employer.

In order to qualify, the Town lifted wages of 14 part-time Parks and Recreation employees an average of $2.25 per hour, for a combined $35,000 in fiscal year 2016-17. The pay raise goes into effect on July 1, 2016.

Overall, the 65 certified local employers have raised annual wages $560,000 since OCLW started certifying for-profit and non-profit businesses, municipalities, and other public employers in the summer of 2015.

Under terms of the two-year certification, each of the Town of Carrboro’s 258 full-time and part-time employees will be paid at least $12.75/hour if no health insurance benefits are provided by the employer, or $11.25/hour if the employer pays at least half the cost of health insurance coverage. OCLW’s living wage is based on a nationally accepted formula for determining the compensation employees need in order to meet their most basic needs (free of governmental assistance), taking into account the housing costs in the community.

“The financial well-being of Town of Carrboro employees is always a priority for the Board of Aldermen,” said Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle. “Our employees serve and take care of our citizens, and by extending the living wage policy to part-time employees, the entire town will benefit.”

In 2014, Town of Carrboro instituted a two-year plan to pay all of its full-time employees a fair housing wage, which rises to $14.98 per hour in July.

Carrboro joins a growing list of public employers in Orange County certified as living wage employers: Orange County, Town of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Orange County Public Schools, OWASA, and Orange County ABC.

To see all 65 living wage employers in Orange County, visit the organization’s website at