This past summer, in our own church, many members of our congregation joined Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in support of a living wage of at least $12 for all employees in Michigan. And yet, several of our hourly staff members make less than this. Just as we were able to put our values into action when we got rid of the minimum pledge requirement, we can again embody these same values by correcting this shortfall and paying our staff a fair living wage.

It would cost us around $1500 to bring all People’s Church staff members up to a wage of at least $12/hr. The UUA also offers a range of fair wage guidelines based on size, location, and other factors. For our church, several of our employees would still fall under the minimum compensation recommended by the UUA. Ensuring that our staff are paid at least $12/hr AND the recommended minimum compensation will cost an additional $1600. The total recommended wage corrections would be approximately 1% of our current budget – $3100 in total. While not insignificant, this amount feels possible, as well as necessary if we are to claim that we are truly living in right relations with ourselves and each other.

There are additional wage gaps, such as the vast experience that many of our staff members have, which should be compensated accordingly (closer to the midpoint of the UUA salary range.) The UUA also recommends a yearly cost of living increase for all employees. We plan to continue to close wage/compensation gaps as the budget and pledging process allows.

I encourage you to consider our church’s values as well as your personal values as you commit your financial resources this year. Please join me in making your pledge generous, comfortable, and appropriate.

Thank you so much!

Zoë Valette

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