AATA Adopts Living Wage Policy

At its June 16, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board unanimously approved a living wage policy that is roughly parallel to the living wage policy expressed in the city of Ann Arbor’s city code. It applies to the wages paid by AATA contractors to their employees. The AATA living wage policy would apply to contractors who have a contract worth more than $10,000 per year and employ or contract with more than five people. It would apply to nonprofit contractors only if they employ or contract with 20 or more people.

The minimum wage to be paid to their employees by AATA contractors would be at the same level stipulated by the city of Ann Arbor. In May 2011, the city ordinance on the city’s living wage required that the wage be nudged upward. The new wage is set at $11.83/hour for those employers providing health insurance, and $13.19/hour for those employers not providing health insurance. That’s an increase from previous levels, which have remained flat at $11.71 per hour for employers offering health insurance and $13.06 per hour for those who don’t offer health insurance.

The AATA board had initiated the exploration of a living wage policy at its Dec. 16, 2010 meeting, when it passed a resolution directing staff to explore that policy. The context for that resolution was a janitorial contract for the Blake Transit Center. Board member Rich Robben had expressed concern that a vendor might be achieving an extraordinarily low bid by paying its workers substandard wages.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the Ann Arbor District Library’s downtown location, where the AATA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]