CORNWALL – United Way Centraide SDG (UWC SDG) shares the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) 2023 living wage for Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Cornwall and Akwesasne (SDGCA) of $20.60 per hour, an 8.1% increase from 2022’s rate of $19.05 per hour.
According to the OLWN – a network of employers, employees, non-profits, and researchers –$20.60 per hour ($36,050 annually) is the minimum an individual needs to earn to support themselves and/or their families to cover basic expenses such as shelter, food, childcare, clothing and footwear, communications, insurance, and transportation. This wage calculation considers government transfers the family/individual may receive (like the Canada Child Benefit, the Ontario CARE benefit, etc.) to supplement this income.
Even with the minimum wage increase to $16.55 on October 1, a full-time worker who makes minimum wage in SDGCA can expect to be short $142 a week to make ends meet.
“We’re seeing many cases of individuals and families with full time jobs in our region struggling to keep up with their monthly expenses and seeking community supports for the first time,” said Juliette Labossière, UWC SDG Executive Director. “Food and financial relief programs, along with other front-line services, are doing everything possible to keep up with the increased demand, but these are not long-term solutions to the growing affordability crisis. Ensuring all workers earn enough money to make ends meet and thrive in the place they live is a critical step towards both preventing and reducing poverty in our region.”
In 2023, the United Way Centraide SDG became a Certified Living Wage Employer by the OLWN along with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and Kawartha Credit Union. To maintain certification, employers agree to incorporate increases to the current living wage each year into their pay scale.
“Living wages positively influence the health of not only the individual, but also their families and communities, and it is for this reason that we are proud to be a Certified Living Wage Employer. We are pleased to provide a wage which enables our employees and their families to lead healthy lifestyles,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Ontario Health Unit. “We encourage other employers in our region to join this initiative and provide a living wage to their employees.”
“Being recognized as a Living Wage Employer is a big accomplishment for Kawartha and our 340 employees. We are proud that we have this designation as it supports our commitment to be socially responsible and demonstrates that we treat our employees with respect, care, and have their best interests at heart,” says Norah McCarthy, President and CEO of Kawartha Credit Union.
There are over 600 certified living wage employers in Ontario. Four are located in Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Cornwall and Akwesasne.
Learn more about the 2023 Living Wage in SDGCA: https://unitedwaysdg.com/2023-living- wage-in-stormont-dundas-glengarry-cornwall-and-akwesasne/
How to become a certified living wage employer: https://www.ontariolivingwage.ca/certify