In its Dividing Lines series on income inequality, The Dispatch profiled a janitor who, after nine years on the job, still earned less than $11 an hour. Researchers say low wages trap many workers in the nearly-poor category: about 1 in 3 Franklin County residents lives in a household with an income at 200 percent or less of the federal poverty line.

Walker, 54, works two jobs because her security position pays less than $12 an hour. She’s been in the contract-security field for four years.

“You’re here and there; now and then, you change buildings,” Walker said. “I had one position that I kept for about two years. But then they lost the contract, and no one told me. I showed up for work.”

The new labor agreement, details of which were not released, significantly reduces Walker’s cost for health insurance and grants her paid vacation for the first time, she said.

“You’d just get $200 once a year, but no days off,” said Walker, who lives in the southeastern part of the city. “I’m not a person who takes days off, but anything could happen.”

Read more about this historic win over at The Columbus Dispatch!