Hamilton’s living wage jumps to $15.85 an hour

News Nov 15, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

When the Good Shepherd considered adopting a living wage policy last year for its 600 employees there was some concern that it would be accepted by the organization’s donors, says the executive director of programs.

Katherine Kalinowski said it was a “moral imperative” for its employees who are helping the less fortunate to “offer them hope” and “a better future” for themselves as they administered to those people who are struggling to make ends meet.

But for donors who providing essential funding to keep the organization active, the idea to increase staff costs isn’t usually accepted or understood, she said.

“But we had a positive response,” she said. “It has been a win-win for everyone.”

The Good Shepherd has become one of Hamilton’s 30 organizations, to adopt the living wage. In 2011 Hamilton’s Roundtable for Poverty Reduction starting campaigning for the establishment of a living wage which at that time was set at $14.95 per hour.

During an announcement at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s office on the mountain, the Living Wage Working Group unveiled the updated calculation at $15.85 per hour more than Ontario’s current minimum wage of $11.40 per hour.

More than 100 employers in Ontario have adopted a living wage policy to assist the province’s 1.8 million working poor.

 Hamilton’s revised living wage is on the lower scale of what 14 other Ontario municipalities have adopted over the years such as the Niagara Region at $17.47, Peterborough with $17.65, Toronto with $18.52 – the highest – and Halton Region at $17.05.

There are nearly 30,000 adults in Hamilton working full or part-time jobs but don’t earn enough to pay their bills each month, says Deirdre Pike, a social planner at the Social Planning and Research Council.

The living wage calculation, she said, is based on a family of four, with two children ages nine and two, which have to pay their rent ($1,305) food ($757), childcare ($806), transportation ($664), education ($88) and recreation expenses ($42) every month. It doesn’t include the family owning a pet; having a night out, or other personal expenses. But it does include money for one week of camping, gifts and other activities, at a cost of about $167.

“Social inclusion is essential,” said Pike.  

 Over the last five years, says Tom Cooper, executive director of the Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, the campaign has caught the attention of political leaders across the country.

“It is becoming an incredible social movement,” said Cooper, who was flying to Timmons Nov. 16 to talk to the mayors of the area’s communities about living wage policy.

“It’s starting to catch political leaders’ attention.”

Vancouver this year became the largest municipality to adopt a living wage policy. And Alberta is considering a $15 minimum wage, he said.

And Hamilton, as Pike hopefully anticipates, will be reviewing its own adopting of a living wage policy later this year.

Over 30 employees in Hamilton have become living wage employers, including the public school board, one of the first organizations in the country to do so, Cake and Loaf Bakery, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Interval House, Dominion Pattern Works and Double Barrel.

Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Green, a living wage supporter, said during the breakfast announcement Nov. 15 attended by about 40 people, that the $15.85 per hour wage should only be a “an absolute minimum” for people.

“It’s a standard, but a low standard (so that) people can have to fully participate in our community,” he said.

He encouraged the living wage group to continue to hold the City of Hamilton accountable to adopt its own living wage policy, while also enforcing living wage policies for the contractors it hires.

“It takes political will,” he said. “There is a cost to a living wage. The cost to not to adhere to a living wage is much greater.”

 

Hamilton’s living wage jumps to $15.85 an hour

News Nov 15, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

When the Good Shepherd considered adopting a living wage policy last year for its 600 employees there was some concern that it would be accepted by the organization’s donors, says the executive director of programs.

Katherine Kalinowski said it was a “moral imperative” for its employees who are helping the less fortunate to “offer them hope” and “a better future” for themselves as they administered to those people who are struggling to make ends meet.

But for donors who providing essential funding to keep the organization active, the idea to increase staff costs isn’t usually accepted or understood, she said.

“But we had a positive response,” she said. “It has been a win-win for everyone.”

The Good Shepherd has become one of Hamilton’s 30 organizations, to adopt the living wage. In 2011 Hamilton’s Roundtable for Poverty Reduction starting campaigning for the establishment of a living wage which at that time was set at $14.95 per hour.

During an announcement at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s office on the mountain, the Living Wage Working Group unveiled the updated calculation at $15.85 per hour more than Ontario’s current minimum wage of $11.40 per hour.

More than 100 employers in Ontario have adopted a living wage policy to assist the province’s 1.8 million working poor.

 Hamilton’s revised living wage is on the lower scale of what 14 other Ontario municipalities have adopted over the years such as the Niagara Region at $17.47, Peterborough with $17.65, Toronto with $18.52 – the highest – and Halton Region at $17.05.

There are nearly 30,000 adults in Hamilton working full or part-time jobs but don’t earn enough to pay their bills each month, says Deirdre Pike, a social planner at the Social Planning and Research Council.

The living wage calculation, she said, is based on a family of four, with two children ages nine and two, which have to pay their rent ($1,305) food ($757), childcare ($806), transportation ($664), education ($88) and recreation expenses ($42) every month. It doesn’t include the family owning a pet; having a night out, or other personal expenses. But it does include money for one week of camping, gifts and other activities, at a cost of about $167.

“Social inclusion is essential,” said Pike.  

 Over the last five years, says Tom Cooper, executive director of the Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, the campaign has caught the attention of political leaders across the country.

“It is becoming an incredible social movement,” said Cooper, who was flying to Timmons Nov. 16 to talk to the mayors of the area’s communities about living wage policy.

“It’s starting to catch political leaders’ attention.”

Vancouver this year became the largest municipality to adopt a living wage policy. And Alberta is considering a $15 minimum wage, he said.

And Hamilton, as Pike hopefully anticipates, will be reviewing its own adopting of a living wage policy later this year.

Over 30 employees in Hamilton have become living wage employers, including the public school board, one of the first organizations in the country to do so, Cake and Loaf Bakery, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Interval House, Dominion Pattern Works and Double Barrel.

Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Green, a living wage supporter, said during the breakfast announcement Nov. 15 attended by about 40 people, that the $15.85 per hour wage should only be a “an absolute minimum” for people.

“It’s a standard, but a low standard (so that) people can have to fully participate in our community,” he said.

He encouraged the living wage group to continue to hold the City of Hamilton accountable to adopt its own living wage policy, while also enforcing living wage policies for the contractors it hires.

“It takes political will,” he said. “There is a cost to a living wage. The cost to not to adhere to a living wage is much greater.”

 

Hamilton’s living wage jumps to $15.85 an hour

News Nov 15, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

When the Good Shepherd considered adopting a living wage policy last year for its 600 employees there was some concern that it would be accepted by the organization’s donors, says the executive director of programs.

Katherine Kalinowski said it was a “moral imperative” for its employees who are helping the less fortunate to “offer them hope” and “a better future” for themselves as they administered to those people who are struggling to make ends meet.

But for donors who providing essential funding to keep the organization active, the idea to increase staff costs isn’t usually accepted or understood, she said.

“But we had a positive response,” she said. “It has been a win-win for everyone.”

The Good Shepherd has become one of Hamilton’s 30 organizations, to adopt the living wage. In 2011 Hamilton’s Roundtable for Poverty Reduction starting campaigning for the establishment of a living wage which at that time was set at $14.95 per hour.

During an announcement at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s office on the mountain, the Living Wage Working Group unveiled the updated calculation at $15.85 per hour more than Ontario’s current minimum wage of $11.40 per hour.

More than 100 employers in Ontario have adopted a living wage policy to assist the province’s 1.8 million working poor.

 Hamilton’s revised living wage is on the lower scale of what 14 other Ontario municipalities have adopted over the years such as the Niagara Region at $17.47, Peterborough with $17.65, Toronto with $18.52 – the highest – and Halton Region at $17.05.

There are nearly 30,000 adults in Hamilton working full or part-time jobs but don’t earn enough to pay their bills each month, says Deirdre Pike, a social planner at the Social Planning and Research Council.

The living wage calculation, she said, is based on a family of four, with two children ages nine and two, which have to pay their rent ($1,305) food ($757), childcare ($806), transportation ($664), education ($88) and recreation expenses ($42) every month. It doesn’t include the family owning a pet; having a night out, or other personal expenses. But it does include money for one week of camping, gifts and other activities, at a cost of about $167.

“Social inclusion is essential,” said Pike.  

 Over the last five years, says Tom Cooper, executive director of the Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, the campaign has caught the attention of political leaders across the country.

“It is becoming an incredible social movement,” said Cooper, who was flying to Timmons Nov. 16 to talk to the mayors of the area’s communities about living wage policy.

“It’s starting to catch political leaders’ attention.”

Vancouver this year became the largest municipality to adopt a living wage policy. And Alberta is considering a $15 minimum wage, he said.

And Hamilton, as Pike hopefully anticipates, will be reviewing its own adopting of a living wage policy later this year.

Over 30 employees in Hamilton have become living wage employers, including the public school board, one of the first organizations in the country to do so, Cake and Loaf Bakery, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Interval House, Dominion Pattern Works and Double Barrel.

Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Green, a living wage supporter, said during the breakfast announcement Nov. 15 attended by about 40 people, that the $15.85 per hour wage should only be a “an absolute minimum” for people.

“It’s a standard, but a low standard (so that) people can have to fully participate in our community,” he said.

He encouraged the living wage group to continue to hold the City of Hamilton accountable to adopt its own living wage policy, while also enforcing living wage policies for the contractors it hires.

“It takes political will,” he said. “There is a cost to a living wage. The cost to not to adhere to a living wage is much greater.”