Mecklenburg County officials increase minimum wage to $15/hour

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Mecklenburg County employees making minimum wage are getting a pay raise.

The county is bringing the minimum for all full-time employees to $15/hour. Employees will see the increase reflected in their March 8 paycheck.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5 Board Chair George Dunlap made the emotional announcement.

“A letter is being sent to every affected employee letting them know the change is effective Feb 13,” Dunlap said. 

Fighting back the tears, Dunlap went on to say that if the county is to push for a living wage then we are to set the example. 

"We regularly review pay to help ensure we can attract and retain the best employees,” said Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio. “The Board has demonstrated support to provide a more livable wage to those making less than $15/hour.”

The increase affects 89 County employees and will cost the County approximately $176,000, including benefits for all positions.

The move signals this may be a bigger issue this board tackles sometime in the future. Board members reached the decision during their retreat last month. 

Other members say this sets a powerful precedent. The lowest paid full time employee makes $11.65/hour.

Commissioners hope that part time employees and other departments will be included in the near future.