Alachua County Commissioners approved a pay raise ordinance for its contract workers Wednesday, but later decided to postpone any final decisions on the new $12 per hour wages.
Commissioners wanted to reduce the number of exceptions to the proposed pay raise. They asked county staff to remove groups from the exemption list and provide written reasoning for all remaining exemptions. By reducing the number of exemptions, seasonal workers, workers with disabilities and student employees would also benefit from the pay raise.
“We are serious about addressing income inequality and income disparity,” said Ken Cornell, Alachua County Commissioner, during Wednesday’s meeting.
Local labor activists and former county employees see Wednesday as an important starting point for local residents to support themselves without outside assistance.
“The upshot of it is that they came with a decent ordinance, and they want a great ordinance,” said Jeremiah Tattersall, a local labor activist. “They’re sending it back so that we can vote on a great ordinance.”