With the annual cost of household living expenses for a Niagara region family of four conservatively pegged at over $71,000, the hourly wage necessary for families with two working parents to meet these expenses, otherwise known as a living wage, is now $17.57. Despite an increase in cost of living expenses, the 2017 living wage has risen only modestly from last year’s calculation, thanks in part to the recently introduced federal Canada Child Benefit (CCB).
Calculating the cost of living for a family of four in Niagara region is an opportunity for the NPRN to raise awareness of the challenges thousands of Niagara families face in trying to meet their cost of living needs, such as housing, child care, food, and transportation. It is a useful baseline to explore in detail the different cost of living line items in the report and an opportunity to discuss and find solutions to help Niagara families address their cost of living requirements.
The living wage calculation report showcases the equivalent wage needed by two earners to meet their household cost of living needs. The report is intended to:
- Encourage the Niagara community to talk about wages, work, and compensation in different ways
- Act as a guide for employers who want to pay its workers Niagara region’s local living wage
- Generate discussion about other public policy changes needed to support cost of living affordability, such as public transportation and affordable child care.
The Ontario Living Wage Network has recently launched a provincial Living Wage employer certification program. The program provides a voluntary opportunity for employers to become recognized for paying their employees, both direct and indirect, the living wage calculated for their local community. The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is pleased to announce the first certified Living Wage employer for Niagara region is Pre-Line Processing, a metal parts processing facility and custom fabricator with five employees based in Lincoln. Learn more about the commitment to living wage and decent work made by the owners of Pre-Line Processing.
Niagara region employers interested in becoming Living Wage certified can contact the Ontario Living Wage Network to learn more about the process.
Chair, Wages and Work Task Group,
Niagara Poverty Reduction Network