To the editor:
I am a strong advocate for raising Oberlin city workers’ salaries. Oberlin has the money to make this change in salary for city workers that are now paid the lowest wage.
When I think of a youth attending high school and opting to work for the city, it signals to me that the student is motivated. Perhaps the student is considering attending college or the Lorain County JVS and/or seeking another career path upon graduating. Thus raising their salary to $12.50 an hour is the right thing to do. With all the challenges facing young folks today, empowering them if and when they are employed as a city worker here in Oberlin shows that we value their service — whatever their job title may be.
In addition, for other employees that are not in school but working for the city at the lowest wage pay rate, they clearly are the “working poor” regardless whether a single or married employee with or without dependents. This is not fair!
In my opinion it would be a weak argument to say that salaries for these workers should be kept at their current wage so that they would not move into a different tax bracket. That argument reeks of economic inequality. Remarkably, when I recall last year council voted to increase their own salaries by 67 percent.
I urge Oberlin city council to vote to raise employee’s salaries to a just and fair sustainable wage hereon. It is the proper thing to do!