As symbolic gestures go, this is a substantial one.
The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is on the verge of becoming the first school board in Ontario to adopt a living-wage policy. That means all its employees would earn at least $14.95 an hour.
Existing board employees already earn more than $14.95 an hour, hence the symbolic nature of the adoption of the living-wage policy. But that symbolism is of critical importance in creating momentum for an important and highly complex conversation we must continue to pursue as a community.
An estimated 30,000 employed Hamiltonians don’t earn enough to live above the poverty line. For families and individuals, that may mean relying on a food bank, living in insecure housing, or being unable to fully participate in educational and/or social activities. As a caring community, it is in our best interests to aspire to a decent standard of living and a vibrant inclusion in the community for all our citizens.
Editorial and image source: The Hamilton Spectator