The Student News Site of Ithaca College

The Ithacan

The Student News Site of Ithaca College

The Ithacan

The Student News Site of Ithaca College

The Ithacan

Editorial: Work for a living

As the City of Ithaca becomes a living-wage employer, it cannot make the same mistakes as Tompkins County and Ithaca College with subcontracting

In 2006, Tompkins County became a certified living-wage employer, meaning it pays the minimum salary necessary for employees to meet their basic needs. The City of Ithaca will follow this model and become a living-wage employer by Oct. 1.

While the county has given its employees a living wage, its subcontracted employees are not guaranteed the same hourly rate of $12.62. In response, Ithaca community members have been rallying for the assurance that workers will receive a living wage, whether or not they are subcontracted.

Unlike the county, Ithaca College agreed to a campus-wide living wage in 2011 after students demanded these wages for contracted Sodexo employees. However, a living wage does not solve all employee problems. The college cannot control other aspects of Sodexo’s employee policy, such as whether employees work full-time, earn fair overtime pay and receive full benefits.

If the city plans to be a living-wage employer, legislation needs to avoid the subcontracting issues faced by Tompkins County and the college. The city needs to create a policy to ensure that subcontractors and city employees are fairly compensated, or eliminate the use of subcontractors entirely.

Donate to The Ithacan
$150
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Ithacan
$150
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal