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Fairfax County Decides Minimum Wage Hike is Not Enough

August 9, 2007

A pay raise is on the way in Virginia. Fairfax County has adopted a living wage policy that will bump per hour pay to $12.75 for county employees. The Board of Supervisors doesn't think the recent federal minimum wage hike went far enough. Clayton Sinyai with the Campaign for a Living Wage says there are also other concerns about minimum wage pay.

"Workers who are paid a living wage are better able to afford to live near their work, rather than overburdening our roads and polluting our environment with long commutes."

Arlington and Alexandria also have "living wage" policies that go even farther than the new Fairfax County standard because they extend to any company that signs a contract with local government. Sinyai adds that the goal is to eventually have livable wage guidelines statewide.

Sinyai believes the county living wage will set a strong example for private companies.

"The Board encouraged and exhorted the private sector to step up to the plate and do the same thing. They really would have to, to have a large impact on transportation and pollution."

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - VA