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____ Monday November 9, 2015 ____



Local Employers Make Public Commitment To Paying A Living Wage

Guelph – Eleven Guelph and Wellington based employers have been recognized as “Living Wage Employers” after making the commitment to pay over 1250 of their employees at least a living wage.

“Our 2015 living wage employer recognition program is part of a growing national trend that acknowledges that the minimum wage is not enough to raise a family,” commented The Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination (Poverty Task Force) coordinator, Randalin Ellery. “Across the country, communities are understanding that a successful economy and society depend on everyone in the workforce having the opportunity to earn a salary that allows them to provide for their family and be an active participant in the local economy.”

The Living Wage is a conservative estimate of what two full-time working parents need to earn hourly to raise two children. The local living wage is $16.50/hour. This number calculated through a rigorous and reviewed process that is vetted nationally by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The local living wage conversation has been spearheaded by the Poverty Task Force who are now reaching out to all employers encouraging them to sign on.

The Co-operators was recognized at the event as the first national company in Canada to make a commitment to paying a living wage in every community that it employs a team member. It is starting that process in Guelph & Wellington. Bernie Mitchell, Senior Vice President Human Resources and Workplace Services, of The Co-operators spoke at the event about how a living wage aligns with its principles.

“A living wage is good for our business and the community we work in, which is why we are proud to join the Living Wage program,” commented Curt Hammond, Chief Listening Officer at Pearl Street Communications. “We believe that this public commitment to a living wage will help us find the right team members to grow our business and is a real example of our commitment to be being a responsible employer.”

Included among the 11 employers recognized as living wage employers, are:

• Barking Dog Studios

• The Co-operators

• Downtown Guelph Business Association

• Grosche International Inc.

• Guelph Community Health Centre

• Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition

• Ontario Co-operative Association

• Pearl Street Communications


• United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin

• Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington

The Poverty Task Force is encouraging all employers to review their salary grids and wherever possible, ensure that staff are earning a living wage or more. Companies interested in committing to a living wage are invited to connect with the Poverty Task Force through Randalin Ellery at 800.265.7293 x 4359 or by email at

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