The Livable Wage Ordinance review process has included four committee meetings so far that were largely dedicated to better understanding this ordinance and how it is currently working.

The first was on June 13th with a report back from Eileen Blackwood (City Attorney) explaining the findings in her office’s 55 page official report on where the Livable Wage Ordinance currently stands.

The second was on June 26th where the committee heard from Jesse Bridges (Director of Parks and Recreation), Doug Hoffer (author of the Peace & Justice Center’s ten phases of the Vermont Job Gap Study, VT’s State Auditor and person who updates the livable wage ordinance numbers each year) and Gene Richards (BTV Aviation Director).

These meetings have been interesting to attend because there are many different view points being expressed, however since they have both been largely about gathering information the councilors themselves have not really shown where they stand until the meeting on July 17th. At this time the committee began to go line by line through the ordinance to see where changes could be made. Nothing official came out of this discussion, but the points that were discussed were the language around the airport, seasonal employees remaining out of the ordinance, non-profits who receive large grants from the city and defining terminology in the ordinance.

On July 25th the Peace & Justice Center, the Vermont Workers’ Center and community members, including airport and school workers, spoke in the public comment period of this meeting about the importance of this ordinance. These organizations and individuals are pushing the committee to expand the ordinance to include seasonal workers and all city leased properties as well as create systems of accountability for contracts that do not comply with the law. The Peace & Justice Center is also asking the committee to strengthen the language around exceptions and the exception process.

We hope that everyone who is passionate about this issue or even has a budding interest will attend this event and any future meetings that involve the Livable Wage Ordinance. For more information contact Kyle at kyle@pjcvt.org or 863-2345 x6.

TONIGHT! Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Contois Auditorium, City Hall
149 Church St., Burlington, Vt.
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Committee Members:
Councilor Chip Mason, Chair
Councilor Sharon Bushor
Councilor Karen Paul