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  • Writer's pictureJT Wu for Georgia

STATEMENT on Successfully Raising the Minimum Wage for Gwinnett Library Employees

===== STATEMENT: Successfully Raising the Minimum Wage

for Gwinnett Library Employees =====

Earlier this week, we had a regularly scheduled business meeting of the Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees – and I was proud to vote unanimously alongside my colleagues to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for ALL of our hardworking frontline library staff, while also funding an additional cost of living increase for other hourly non-executive library employees.

Our unanimous decision to invest in our staff has been covered by news media like the Gwinnett Daily Post, and we are so thankful for the opportunity to come alongside the amazing folks across our county who keep our award-winning library system world-class.

It’s worth noting that, this year, these raises were funded through a one-time use of our reserve fund – an account built up over decades of prudent fiscal management and thoughtful and responsible spending by our library system’s executive staff.

We’ve been working closely over the years with the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners to incorporate these minimum wage and cost of living increases into our base budget funding request – and while that wasn’t included this year, we believed that making these investments to retain talent here in Gwinnett in this ultra-competitive job market and to maintain our Gwinnett standard – especially when it comes to our world-class public libraries – just could not wait until 2023.

We’ve all spent time in the public and private sectors, and we realize that one-time reserve funds aren’t a sustainable solution to recurring salary expenses. But without alternative funding options, we made the choice to come together and invest in our people – and in keeping Gwinnett great for all.

Investing in living wages for all of our employees was a decision that we made as a Board unanimously, with the full support of our library’s executive team.

That’s because our frontline employees represent the diversity and strength of Gwinnett – and they’ve worked tirelessly through the pandemic to make sure that our families, and our next generation, continued being able to learn and thrive.

Our libraries aren’t just tired old bookshelves, gathering dust – they’re completely free, high-tech, innovation spaces of the future - funded by and for our communities.

That’s why I, and the rest of the Library Board of Trustees, felt so strongly about making sure that all of our staff had the living wages they deserved – especially during these challenging times.

We’re excited for future budget cycles and to continue working with folks all across our county to ensure that our Library’s Gwinnett Standard remains top-notch and accessible for all, without any cuts in future services – and we’re so thankful for our friends, especially all the great folks on our Board of Commissioners, each of whom continues to value and support our nationally recognized and award-winning Library system right here in Gwinnett County.

I’m proud to be able to work alongside leaders across Gwinnett to fight for our frontline staff and continue delivering results for our community.

Together, I know we can forge a brighter future, filled with learning and economic opportunity for all.

God bless y’all, and may God continue to bless our great state of Georgia.


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