In order to provide food, clothing, housing, transportation, child care, and other basic living expenses for their family of four, a pair of London parents working full-time would need to earn $15.53 per hour, or $30,284 annually. As London’s Living Wage, that key finding was announced this morning at an event that brought together leaders from the private and public sectors, committed to ensuring their employees can live healthy lives, while making a positive contribution to the community.
Different from the minimum wage, a Living Wage is a current reflection of the costs associated with living in a particular community. It helps families achieve a basic level of economic security while minimizing severe financial stress. While some factors can lead to variations in the Living Wage calculation; such as an employer-provided medical insurance program, which in London’s case, drops the rate to $14.57/hour or $28,412/year, the calculation is based on local figures and data gathered by the London Poverty Research Centre at King’s.
“Living Wage is one strategy in reducing poverty and increasing positive outcomes. Being a recognized Living Wage Employer fosters social inclusion and supports the quality of life of our staff,” says Stephen Bolton, Libro Credit Union President, CEO and Head Coach. “Growing regional prosperity goes further than financial transactions and balance sheets. It’s about addressing complex social issues in southwestern Ontario and working collaboratively with organizations to help build and strengthen the communities we passionately serve. We recognize different businesses will make their own decisions about the best way to contribute to the health of their communities, and Libro encourages that conversation always.”
In addition to Libro Credit Union, organizations represented at today’s announcement included Ellipsis Digital, Western Fair District, Downtown London, Goodwill Industries, King’s University College, the Ivey Business School and the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
The event also included the launch of www.livingwagelondon.ca, a new website designed by Ellipsis Digital, which outlines how a Living Wage is calculated and encourages local businesses to learn more about becoming Living Wage Employers. The website also includes an infographic that individuals and business owners can download and share in order to help spread the Living Wage message.
Living Wage Canada (www.livingwagecanada.ca) already recognizes many Ontario and Canadian cities as Living Wage Communities, including Waterloo, Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor, Halifax, Montréal, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary and Vancouver.