Living wage in Hamilton rises to $15.85 an hour, group says
Housing still dominates monthly needs
Amid calls from social groups for Hamilton to adopt a living wage policy, inflation has pushed the city's figure to $15.85 an hour, Living Wage Hamilton says.
That number is the minimum needed for a family of four in the city to live with a semblance of comfort in 2016, said Tom Cooper, the director for the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.
"It's something we're encouraging," he said. "This is something progressive employers take on voluntarily."
- 3 Hamiltons meet to discuss their living wage efforts
- More Hamilton employers pledge to pay workers $15 per hour
The biggest chunk of the organization's monthly breakdown comes with rent and related costs, followed by childcare (with a subsidy), food, and transportation.
Here's how it breaks down:
"Living wage is super important because you can work full time at minimum wage and still not make enough with student loans and other monthly bills," said Joshua Gallogly, an employee at Mission Services, in a statement. "It makes a difference when an organization that is committed to respond to poverty starts with their own employees by paying us a living wage."
Mission Services is one of several organizations that are voluntarily paying a living wage in Hamilton today, Cooper said. Others include local bakery Cake and Loaf, which brought on nine new employees this year.
"They're a small bakery in a competitive industry," he said. "They're attributing a lot of their growth to customers who are pleased they are a living wage employer that is treating people with dignity."