Over five years ago Libro Credit Union, the largest credit union in Southwestern Ontario, became a certified Living Wage employer. It wasn't a surprise. They had been active at many roundtables and community groups concerned with—among other things—tackling the problem of working poverty. Like many organizations that make up the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN), Libro saw it necessary to lead by example and make public their certification.
Credit unions have always been early and potent champions of the living wage movement. We list 8 at the moment, with dozens of branches all over Ontario. In addition to being certified, we are pleased to announce that Libro Credit Union will be supporting the work of the Ontario Living Wage Network directly over the next three years with a generous annual financial contribution.
At this stage of life for the OLWN, it is important to supplement the income from employer fees with philanthropic sources. This allows us to keep the fees palatable for businesses of all sizes as we continue to grow.
Libro Credit Union joins 7 other organizations who support our work directly; 6 local United Ways across Ontario and Kitchener’s Kindred Credit Union.
Brian Aalbers, Libro’s Executive Vice-President, People & Culture explained why they chose to certify.
He said: "We believe that being a living wage employer is a great opportunity to grow prosperity for our staff and our communities. By paying a Living Wage we can minimize financial stress and support a high quality of life for our employees. Living Wage is one strategy in reducing poverty and fosters social inclusion."
“Beyond just being certified, the leadership of Libro Credit Union is honoured to be supporting the work of OLWN into 2023 and beyond.”
As we approach 400 certified living wage employers in Ontario, we look towards a future where we have many thousands of living wage businesses. Imagine a time when there are enough certified employers that the consumer public choose to do business almost exclusively with employers that pay at least a living wage.
Libro Credit Union is helping to realize that future:
Brian Aalbers continued: "Libro Credit Union exists to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by transforming banking. We want to use all of our resources to create a positive impact. This includes taking intentional action to improve the lives of our staff, our owners and our communities. We believe in the business, economic and social value of both paying and receiving a living wage. By being a Living Wage employer and champion, Libro can lead by example.”