Living wage increases to $19.05 an hour in Hamilton : Ontario Living Wage Network – Hamilton

The agency that monitors poverty levels in Hamilton is once again suggesting that the Ontario government needs to review its income security programs as rents soar and the cost of food rises.

Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, says the latest increase in the living wage calculation of Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) suggests that welfare rates are “woefully inadequate”.

“People on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) have fallen further and further behind,” Cooper said. 900 CHML Bill Kelly show.

Read more:

Living wage rises to $19.05 an hour in Eastern Ontario, says United Way Peterborough and District

“To say nothing of people on general welfare … who are forced to subsist on $733 a month, and that falls far short of the cost of rent in any of our communities.”

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Hamilton’s Living Wage – an independent weighted calculation by the OLWN recommending what the province’s minimum wage should be – has risen nearly $2 year-over-year to $17.20 in 2021 at $19.05 for 35 hours per week for 50 weeks per year.


This is a significant increase from the previous update, in which the rate increased to $17.20 per hour from $16.45 in 2019.

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The network’s calculations are based on big expenses like rent, transportation, childcare, and food, as well as things like internet service and “modest” recreational activities.

“Minimum wage is really just a political calculation that governments decide is what employers should pay at the minimum,” Cooper explained.

“But living wage is something we encourage employers to adopt and pay their employees.”

On Oct. 1, Ontario’s minimum wage increased to $15.50 an hour, but Cooper said it “falls far short of what workers need to earn” to live and participate in the community, especially in different parts of the province.

Read more:

Hamilton Remains One of North America’s Least Affordable Housing Markets, Study Finds

The report also illustrates the growing gap between monthly expenses and income for those earning minimum wage.

Calculations show that single adults earning minimum wage earn 82% of a living wage and lack $423.92 to cover basic monthly expenses, those receiving the maximum benefit available for ODSP earn 44% of a living wage and are missing $1,365.92. to cover their basic monthly expenses, and those who receive the maximum benefit available for Ontario Works earn 26.5% of a living wage and miss $1,860.92 to cover their basic monthly expenses.

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Cooper suggests that offering a living wage tends to be good for companies when it comes to employee retention and reducing job training costs.

“Plus, it’s good for the community because when people make more money, it’s money that gets put back into local economies and helps create economic growth and create jobs,” says Cooper.

The OLWN has a list of about fifty local employers who are committed to paying their staff a living wage.

Here are the Ontario Living Wage Network living wage rates for 2022 for 28 municipalities in Ontario:

Halton GTA $23.15
Region of Peel GTA $23.15
Toronto GTA $23.15
Gray and Bruce Bruce Gray Perth Huron Simcoe $20.70
Perth and Huron Bruce Gray Perth Huron Simcoe $20.70
Simcoe County Bruce Gray Perth Huron Simcoe $20.70
Guelph and Wellington Waterloo Dufferin Guelph-Wellington $19.95
Region of Waterloo Dufferin Waterloo Guelph-Wellington $19.95
Haldimand–Norfolk Brant Niagara Haldimand Norfolk $19.80
Niagara Region Brant Niagara Haldimand Norfolk $19.80
Sault Ste. Married North $19.70
Sudbury North $19.70
Thunder Bay North $19.70
Ottawa Ottawa $19.60
Durham East $19.05
hamilton hamilton $19.05
Hastings and Prince Edward East $19.05
kingston East $19.05
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark East $19.05
Muskoka East $19.05
Norththumberland East $19.05
Peterborough East $19.05
Renfrew County East $19.05
United Counties of Prescott and Russell East $19.05
Chatham–Kent South West $18.15
Windsor Essex South West $18.15
London and Middlesex London Elgin Oxford $18.05
St. Thomas and Elgin London Elgin Oxford $18.05

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Michael A. Bynum