Today fifteen certified living wage employers signed, sealed and delivered a letter to Premier Wynne, the leader of the Official Opposition Mr. Brown, and Leader of the NDP Ms. Horwarth.
The letter urges Ontario to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour with annual cost-of-living increases for workers.
Until recently, any discussion about raising the minimum wage included business leaders and pundits speculating about job loss and other unproven effects on the markets.
But something is shifting. More often we are hearing from responsible business leaders who see the value in paying a decent wage.
Please share this page far and wide. We need to prove to our political leadership that Ontario is ready to do better.
Toronto can add one more living wage employer to the list: Fresh From the Farm meat and produce market. They carry local farm-fresh meats, raised without hormones or drugs from Ontario Amish and Mennonite farmers. They also carry eggs, dairy, produce and more.
Honestly if I wasn't loaded down with a camera bag, I would have walked out with two armfuls of groceries. Everything looked amazing. It's the kind of place you boast about having in your neighbourhood. And if you live in Toronto's east end, you can now boast that you shop at a local market that pays a living wage.
Fresh from the Farm is Located at 350 Donlands Avenue, one block south of O'Connor, and is open Monday-Friday 10 am – 7 pm; Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.
Visit the website of the newly-announced Better Way Alliance, and you will recognize more than a few OLWN faces. They are a group of employers committed to a better way to build the economy. In their words:
There is a myth that the “high turnover and low-pay” model is the secret to success in business. But many employers see things differently. We know from experience that a commitment to decent work makes good economic sense. By speaking out, we hope to open up the conversation about what makes the most sense today.
We are sometimes asked to share photos, logos, slides and infographics. In order to share these resources, I've created a Flickr account for the Ontario Living Wage Network.
Everything is public and downloadable and arranged in albums. When you click on a photo or graphic you'd like, you'll see a download button at the bottom-right corner.
All assets have been created or commissioned by the OLWN, and to use them in print or online, please use Creative Commons non-commercial attribution:
Teacher Ryan Kelly belongs to a union where every member earns a living wage.
But the women who run the cafeteria at the Whitby high school where Kelly taught math and computer science last year make just $11.50 an hour, nowhere near enough to have a decent quality of life, he says.
Kelly wants that to change.
He wants the Durham District School Board to become a living wage employer and ensure everyone working in area schools — including contract employees like cafeteria staff — earns a living wage.
From an op-ed written by Bishops Douglas Crosby and Michael Bird of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton:
Establishing living wages holds the promise to transform the lives of so many in our province; providing a decent quality of life with opportunities to fully participate in our society through recreation, culture, and entertainment. If we implement a fair minimum wage in Ontario the very fabric of our society would be transformed for the better.
Of course many will argue their budgets simply won't allow for this practice to be implemented. We understand the challenges to make ends meet. But such challenges do not absolve us of our responsibility and we must be steadfast in moving toward the vision of a society where all have enough.