“Money isn’t the bottom line for everything, people are the bottom line for everything,” said a participant at the recent Social Audit conducted in Hamilton.
We couldn’t agree more. As a society we are called to care for the dignity and well-being of all our citizens. Yet more than 29,000 Hamiltonians go to work but do not earn enough at their jobs to move out of poverty.
This reality must spur us to action. At a time when many seek to sow division and discord, paying living wages is an act of justice and inclusion.
As bishops we have had the privilege of hearing many stories from Hamiltonians and it’s abundantly clear that no one chooses to live in poverty.
Five years ago, a coalition of community partners including the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton launched the Living Wage Hamilton initiative to encourage local employers — including the municipal government — to end working poverty in the city. Our diocesan offices are rooted in Hamilton and since that time we have sought to meet or exceed the current living wage rate of $15.85 per hour for all our staff. We believe that providing employees with living wages is important; for it speaks to our belief that God has provided enough for all if we truly embrace the call to equitably share these resources.
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Article and image source: The Hamilton Spectator