An op- ed in the Toronto star is critical of Toronto City council's proposal to outsource cleaning jobs.
In a newly released Centre for Civic Governance poll, 67.1% of British Columbians surveyed said they would be in favour of their municipality adopting a living wage bylaw which would ensure that all directly-employed city staff, as well as staff contracted by the city to work on service contracts are paid a locally calculated living wage. This response reflects a key concern for many: the economy. When asked about issues, 32% of British Columbians expressed strong concern about the economy.
On June 20th, Pickering city council approved a fair wage policy. The policy is effective immediately and will apply to all city contracts over $1 million. Councillor Bill McLean expressed his support for the policy, noting fair wages encourage a higher standard of work.
On June 13th city councilors voted to recommend a "fair wage" policy for contracts over S1 million. Workers affected by this policy would likely be those in the construction trades. The policy is supported by Terry Dorgan, an agent of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 894, who believes the policy "promotes safety on the job, assures that you're getting the most qualified people on the job and taxpayers will definitely get their money's worth."
Surrey Councillor Bob Bose is hoping his council will pass a living wage by-law. The policy would guarantee a wage of $18.17/hour for all City of Surrey goods and services suppliers. The wage is based on "the minimum hourly rate required for a four-person household with two working adults to afford food and shelter and meet other needs." Read more in the Georgia Straight.
Esquimalt is very likely to pass living wage legislation in the very near future. Although some Victoria-area politicians are nervous about the idea, it seems most agree a living wage is essential for working families to make ends meet. The school district of Qualicum has just recently passed a motion to support the living wage and will be working to actively increase the number of families earning a living wage. Read the full story in The Tyee.
The living wage in Metro Vancouver in 2010 is calculated at $18.17/hour, which is 8.5% higher than it was 2 years ago. The increase is driven by increases in food, rent and childcare. Paying living wages can reduce child poverty, stimulate local ecnomies, and benefit employers. Read the full story in the Vancouver Sun.
The City of New Westminister has become the first municipality in Canada to adopt a living wage policy. A living wage is calculated as the income two working parents would need in order to support a family of four with adequate food and shelter, and adequate funds to participate in their community. In Metro Vancouver, a living wage is calculated as $16.74/hour. View New Westminister City Councillor Jamie McEvoy's presentation here.
Kington Ontario's City Council will be voting this week on a motion calling for the city to begin work on a Living Wage policy for city employees and contractors. The motion from Councillors Bill Glover and Rob Hutchison follows up on recommendations from a CCPA Ontario report from 2011.
Jim Stanford, well-known CAW economist and media commentator was the key note speaker at the Centre for Civic Governance’s Sharing of Good Ideas forum held in Hamilton recently. He spoke on The Living Wage.
His presentation was followed by a panel that included Sam Magavern, a volunteer attorney for the City of Buffalo Living Wage Commission; Hamilton Wentworth school board Trustee Robert Barlow and Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction Director Tom Cooper.