Communities across the province are announcing new and updated living wage rates to mark International Living Wage Week (November 5th to November 10th). With support from the Ontario Living Wage Network, the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination has calculated Guelph & Wellington’s new rate at $16.90/hour, a %2.4 increase from the previous rate of $16.50/hour.
The living wage is an hourly rate calculated based on a modest, bare necessities budget. It is a conservative estimate of what two full-time (35 hours/week) working parents need to earn hourly to raise two children and meet basic needs. The living wage is based on local data and includes expense categories such as food, shelter and clothing, as well as expenses associated with transportation, childcare, and non-OHIP health care. It does not include savings, a retirement plan, or debt repayment. The largest expense categories are childcare and shelter, followed by transportation and food. The full calculation process is outlined in the report A Living Wage for Guelph and Wellington: 2018 Update released this week on The Poverty Task Force’s website: www.gwpoverty.ca.
“If someone is working full-time, they should be able to earn enough to make ends meet and support their family. Unfortunately, due to low-wage work, we know that isn’t the case for everyone in our community,” commented Dominica McPherson, Interim Coordinator with the Poverty Task Force. “As the living wage movement grows, communities are recognizing that a successful economy and society depend on everyone in the workforce having the opportunity to earn a wage that allows them to provide for their family and be an active participant in the local economy,” McPherson added.
In Guelph and Wellington, over 30 employers have demonstrated their support by certifying as living wage employers and committing to paying their employees at least a living wage. This year, Innovation Guelph and The Guelph Community Foundation have joined the growing list, which now represents more than 2550 employees in Guelph and Wellington assured to receive at least a living wage.
Employers interested in certifying as a living wage employer are invited to connect with the Poverty Task Force through Dominica McPherson by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.