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Living Wage Employers in Ontario – Windsor-Essex Tops

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Windsor-Essex is neck-and-neck for highest number of living wage employers in Ontario

A friendly competition among living wage communities across Ontario has begun and Pathway to Potential hopes Windsor-Essex will come out on top. Pathway to Potential (P2P), the local organization heading up the local campaign reports that they are currently tied with Hamilton for first place with 31 living wage employers. Communities have until the end of living wage week, which will take place October 31 through November 6 to recruit for the friendly competition. “It’s a fun way to ramp up efforts when partners we work with across the province challenge each other. In the end, we all win,” said director of P2P, Adam Vasey.

Pathway to Potential has been recruiting new employers steadily since the program launched in March 2015. The 31 employers employ an impressive 6700 employees in Windsor-Essex. These employees and their families are benefiting from earning a living wage, and P2P is proud of the growing success.

Vasey reported, that “most recently, there have been an additional four local employers who have signed on as living wage champions, with several other local employers indicating their interest. We have added an enrollment form to our website to make it easier for employers to sign on and this has helped with our recruitment efforts,” added Vasey.

Four recent employers to sign on are Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association, Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, MC Business Solutions, and Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society. Though, P2P hinted at plans that living wage week might include a County-specific event to announce additional county employers.

Here is what the newest living wage employers had to say about joining the campaign:

Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association (BANA)
“BANA is committed to a living wage because employees should earn enough to secure a decent standard of living for themselves and their families. We believe that our staff deserves fair compensation, improved quality of life and the opportunity to participate in our local economy. Our organization has a long standing track record of low staff turnover with high job satisfaction reported.” Luciana Rosu-Sieza, Interim Executive Director

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
“Here at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare we are guided by our vision for a healthier community and by our three drivers, our people, our patients and our identity. Paying a living wage to our employees is a priority for our organization and is just one example of how we support our people, their families and the community.” Janice Kaffer, President and CEO

MC Business Solutions
“We acknowledge that our employees are the key to our success. Providing a living wage is essential in fostering a hospitable work environment, healthy work-life balance, and ensuring that all our employees continue to share in our mutual success.” Jeff Dam, Co-owner

Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society
“It is so important that we provide all hard working staff/employees with a living wage so they can all do that – live!” Bill Bevan, Chief Executive Officer

Pathway to Potential (P2P) works within the community to reduce and prevent poverty in Windsor-Essex. We accomplish this by engaging the community to identify and remove barriers to social and economic resources through education, research and advocacy. P2P is funded by the City of Windsor and County of Essex. P2P participates in a network with other communities across Canada through Vibrant Communities Canada.

The living wage is a call to employers from all sectors to pay wages that are sufficient to provide for basic needs of families. Windsor-Essex is just one of many communities across Canada responding to the increasingly high levels of low-wage workers living in poverty. The basis of the living wage is that families and individuals should earn an income sufficient to pay for the basic necessities of life, so they can live with dignity and participate as active citizens in our society.

The push to provide a living wage is spearheaded by Pathway to Potential, the poverty reduction strategy for Windsor-Essex. Using the national framework for a living wage developed by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and other leading experts, Pathway to Potential announced the living wage rate for Windsor-Essex in March 2015 as $14.15 per hour without benefits and $13.10 per hour with.