Roeland Park council unanimously approves proclamation encouraging business to pay living wage

Roeland Park’s council is urging business in the city to pay a living wage to employees.

A proclamation encouraging Roeland Park businesses to pay a living wage to their employees was unanimously adopted during Monday’s city council meeting.

“Businesses who pay livable wages inspire worker loyalty and an improved business ethic, which in turn decreases turnover, increases sales and thereby contributes to a solid tax base,” the proclamation reads.

The proclamation was promoted by Roeland Park resident Michael Rebne, who also drafted the recently adopted proclamation supporting diversity and inclusiveness.

“This says these are the values of our community and we want to see people thrive,” Rebne said.

The proclamation is meant to benefit Roeland Park residents and employees of the city’s businesses, Rebne said.

“I think most certainly the folks that tend shop in Roeland Park and the folks that serve our hamburgers and help us with our lumber…whether or not they live here they are certainly part of the community,” he said.

The living wage in Johnson County for one working adult supporting two children is $26.79 per hour, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Living Wage Calculator. The living wage for a single adult with no children is $11.06 per hour.

Kansas currently requires $7.25 per hour for minimum wage.

Rebne said that while the proclamation was not enforceable by law “signaling that spirit is important.”

Mayor Mike Kelly said the council would work to ensure the proclamation served as more than just a statement of values.

“We want this to be a starting point, not a finish line…to continue the conversation onward,” Kelly said.

The full proclamation is embedded below:

[gview file=””]