A Parade to Get In Front Of

 

Originally posted at the Mennonite Central Committee Ottawa Notebook

 

“We need to create a parade that politicians want to get in front of.”

That is how one participant at our forum on the living wage and public sector employers put it.

At the heart of decent work is fair pay – the ability to earn a living wage. Not a poverty wage. But enough to meet your needs and fully participate in the life of your community.

But the growth of low-wage and precarious employment has become one of the defining labour market challenges in our time and one of the root causes of growing income inequality.

In 2017, the Government of Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review found that 30% to 32% of workers in Ontario were in low wage jobs with few if any benefits. Many people in standard jobs, “work for very low pay and do not have a private pension.” (An Agenda for Workplace Rights, p. 45)

How does one change that reality?

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Run of Newly Certified Living Wage Employers Continues in Niagara

The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is pleased to announce that Person Centered Care (PCC) has become Niagara’s tenth certified Living Wage Employer.

Person Centered Care is a private agency that was founded in 2016 by Alyshia Meredith. Their Life Skills Coaches are trained to support people of all ages with vulnerabilities such as developmental disabilities, mental health, dual diagnosis, and the elderly. Supports include goal setting, outreach and day services, person-directed programs and activities, and respite care.

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Niagara's Latest Living Wage Employer: Niagara Pallet

The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is pleased to announce that Niagara Pallet has become Niagara’s 9th certified Living Wage Employer. Niagara Pallet started in 1993 and is owned by the Vrugteveen family. They are a leading manufacturer, seller and recycler of pallets and shipping materials. Their Smithville-based operations are housed in a 23,000 square foot building with an 18,000 square foot addition opening soon.

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Iron Will Raw becomes Niagara’s 8th Certified Living Wage Employer

The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is pleased to announce that St. Catharines-based Iron Will Raw Inc. has become Niagara’s 8th certified Living Wage Employer.

“To produce the safe, nutritious and high quality product we strive for, we need to have a team of top notch individuals that are committed to our company and our philosophies. We want our team members to be proud of where they work and the products they produce so they can strive to better their skills and abilities in the workplace. By creating a positive culture in the workplace and providing a compensation package that pays a living wage I believe we are setting our team, and our business up for success and longevity,” says Iron Will Raw owner, Matt Bonanno. Iron Will Raw currently employs a dozen staff.

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Living Wage Week 2018

Every year on the first week of November, we celebrate all things living wage. Several communities will be hosting employer recognition events and report launches. It has also become the time when we release new and newly updated local calculations:

 

Community Rate Status Date last calculated Previous % Diff
Toronto  $21.75 Update 2015 $18.52 14.9%
Haliburton County  $19.42 New n/a    
Kawartha Lakes  $18.42 New n/a    
Ottawa  $18.21 New n/a    
Simcoe County  $18.01 Update 2016 $17.74 1.5%
Niagara Region  $17.99 Update 2017 $17.57 2.3%
Norththumberland County  $17.95 New n/a    
Perth and Huron  $17.44 Update 2015 $16.47 5.6%
Kingston  $17.29 Update 2017 $16.58 4.1%
Leeds, Grenville, Lanark Counties  $17.07 New n/a    
Guelph  $16.90 Update 2015 $16.50 2.4%
St. Thomas Elgin  $16.57 Update 2017 $16.03 3.3%
Chatham-Kent  $16.33 Update 2017 $15.86 2.9%
Waterloo Region  $16.15 Update 2017 $16.10 0.3%
Thunder Bay  $16.05 New n/a    

 

Events

Perth Huron Living Wage Rate

November 7

8:00 AM

Libro Credit Union,

74 Kingston Street, Goderich

 

Kingston Living Wage Week Celebration

November 7

1:00 to 3:00 pm

Vincentian Room, Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul

Motherhouse, 1200 Princess Street, Kingston

 

Kindred Credit Union and Mennonite Central Committee Living Wage Celebration

November 7

1:00-2:00

50 Kent Street, Kitchener

 

Perth Huron Living Wage Rate

November 8

8:30 AM

McLeods Scottish Shop

80 Ontario Street, Stratford


A statement from the Ontario Living Wage Network and the Better Way Alliance

Certified Living Wage Employer Josie Rudderham, of Hamilton's Cake & Loaf,testifies at the government's hearings on Bill 148 in 2017

Josie Rudderham, certified living wage employer, testifies before a government panel on bill 148 in 2017.

Businesses shun move to roll back workers rights, opting for the high road

We are a network of business owners challenging the corporate lobby narrative saying decent work laws are bad for business.

We have found the opposite - when we take care of employees and provide decent jobs, our businesses are more successful.

By scrapping most of Bill 148 - a $15 minimum wage, a couple paid leave days, equal pay, fair scheduling - the Ford government has shown that it is fundamentally for the big business lobbies who have proven themselves to be anti-worker.

There is another side to the story...

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PenFinancial, the Latest Living Wage Credit Union

Well done Niagara Poverty Reduction network for bringing PenFinancial into the living wage movement. They are the latest Credit Union to certify, bringing the total to 5 across Ontario: DUCA Credit union, Kindred Credit Union, Libro Credit UnionMainstreet Credit Union. Together they they operate 51 branches across the southern part of the province. It's getting easier to do your banking with a responsible employer. 

 


Materials From Public Sector Forum Now Available

Thank you to everyone who spent the day with us in Burlington on February 23rd. There was a palpable energy to the panels, discussions and presentations. It reminded me of why I love working on events. 

If you weren't able to make it, don't worry. Posted on the event's page are downloadable audio recordings of every part of the day. You can also view/download the 3 slide decks that were shown in the public sector and campaign panels.

If you listen to just one audio clip, make it the final wrap-up session, hosted by Deirdre Pike. She facilitates a summary of the most valuable takeaways from each part of the day. And it's also crazy entertaining. 



Updated Calculation for Waterloo Region

Announcing the 2018 Living Wage Rate: $16.10 an hour

The living wage rate is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in community life. The calculation includes actual costs in local communities. So the Waterloo Region living wage rate reflects the actual cost for things like rent, food, transportation, hydro, child care, etc. in Waterloo region. The calculation also takes into account taxes and government transfers.

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