Make a difference. Make a living.

Alternatives Credit Union conducted our first Living Wage Study in 1994 to address internal employee concerns about compensation levels. Rather than looking at what competitors paid, or what the statutory minimum wage was, the Credit Union researched what it took to support a person above the poverty level. We have continued to update this study every two years.

We hold a biennial press conference to release the new living wage number. Using the results of our study, The Tompkins County Workers Center certifies local employers who choose to pay their employees a living wage. Among the biggest Certified Living Wage Employers are The City of Ithaca and Tompkins County. The Tompkins County Workers Center publishes a list of Certified Living Wage Employers on their website.

Doing business with a Living Wage employer is important to many of our members. Alternatives’ leadership in the living wage movement affects many people in Tompkins County, including members businesses inspired by our example, and their employees. We firmly believe that employees who are treated fairly offer better member service. As an organization dedicated to creating economic opportunity and empowerment, we recognize that wages are the critical component in financial wellness and capability.

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