Living Wage - Salaire-subsistance

 
Today in Canada, more 1.3 million of our children live in poverty.  Low wages remain a significant barrier to all Canadians achieving self sufficiency through work. According to Statscan, more than a million people across the country worked for minimum wages or less last year, the fourth year in a row that this shamefully persistent number has been above the one million mark. While levels of education and experience have increased and productivity has grown, real wages remained stagnant from 1981 to 2004 while median wages have grown at a snail’s pace (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives).  Clearly, low wages are a large part of why so many working Canadians remain poor. 
 
Despite the need to address working poverty and the popular support for government action to do so, Canada’s elected leadership has been disturbingly timid on the wage-raising front. No recent increase to the minimum wage or poverty reduction strategy seriously addresses the issue of the sinking wage floor.
 
The need for a grassroots Wages Rising movement in Canada is clearer than ever!
 
ACORN members for the last 10 years have been fighting on a range of wage campaigns. ACORN members and allies won a precedent setting Living Wage Victory in New Westminster, BC. They fought the good fight in Ottawa for a Living wage that built momentum for Minimum Wage campaigns for  $10/hour in 2008 and $14/hour in 2014 in Ontario. 
 
Capacity from each campaign helps build the next and ACORN members from coast to coast are excited to fight!
 
Currently:
·       Living wage campaigns are just getting started in Toronto and Halifax.
 
·       ACORN members are fighting for a federal fair wage of $15/hour for a) workers under federal jurisdiction b) contracted employees and Employees of firms that enter into service contracts with the federal government and c) Employees of firms receiving economic development assistance (grants, tax abatements, low interest loans, etc.) from the federal government.
 
·        BC ACORN and NS ACORN are also fighting for $15 minimum wage campaigns!
 
 

YourOttawaRegion.ca: Organization fights against what it calls social injustice

Jan 21st - YourOttawaRegion.com came out with a great piece looking at Ottawa ACORN's work to ensure that Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recieve the funding they deserve, it's reproduced below:

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now’s (ACORN Canada) latest campaign is getting set to launch. This year they want to make politicians sit up and notice there needs to be improvements to the social assistance system.

ACORN [Canada]’s purpose is to fight for social justice for low income families across Canada. There are 30,000 members in 20 neighbourhood chapters in six Canadian cities.

“We are focused on two points in this campaign – to increase the rates of Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program and ensure that the special diet allowance program remains in place,” ACORN board member Kathleen Fortin said.

The meeting will address member’s issues and work on building a strategy on how to get the attention of provincial candidates, MPPs and opposing parties as they get ready to start their 2011 election campaign across Ontario. Fortin said she hopes they will be able to make candidates take note of the needs of those living on an Ontario Works income.

The special diet allowance helps people on Ontario Works and on Ontario Disability Support program manage their health needs, such as diabetes. The McGuinty government announced in March 2010 that changes to the special diet will take place, meaning some who were once eligible for the extra $250 a month allowance will no longer be eligible. Fortin wants the special diet allowance to also be addressed because of concerns members have had about notices they received questioning their diet needs.

Royal City Record: It was a year of 'firsts' in the Royal City

Dec 29th - New Westminster's Royal City Record gave ACORN Canada a mention in their year end piece on the biggest news stories of the year.  Check it out below:

WAGE POLICY - A FIRST

In April, the City of New Westminster adopted a living wage policy.

Considered a first in Canada, the policy drew accolades from health and poverty groups from across the country. A living wage is often defined as being the minimum hourly wage that's necessary for a family of four, with two parents working full-time, to pay for food, shelter and other daily needs.

"New Westminster is the first city in Western Canada - why not be the first city in other things as well," said Coun. Jaimie McEvoy, who proposed the policy. "The pioneers would be proud."

While the details of the living wage rate were still being debated at year-end, council unanimously supported the policy.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN Canada), which lobbied council to adopt a living wage bylaw, said a living wage policy brings benefits, including workers spending more money locally and businesses having less turnover and more productivity.

Full article at: http://www.royalcityrecord.com/business/year+firsts+Royal+City/4036564/story.html#ixzz19XEsiPGU

24 Hours Vancouver: Protesters want higher minimum wage

Sept 3rd, 2010 by Kristen McKenzie, 24 Hours Vancouver

Labour Day is just around the corner, but some local workers say there’s not much to celebrate this year.

Members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada (ACORN Canada) rallied outside Liberal MLA Harry Bloy’s Burnaby office Thursday protesting the province’s $8 an hour minimum wage.

“What do we want? Higher minimum wage!” the protesters chanted in unison before trying to enter the office, which they found locked.

“We were told yesterday Harry Bloy would be in his office,” said ACORN Canada member Amanda Boggan. “I guess we maybe scared him off or something … we were hoping to convince him that it’s really important for the Liberals to raise the minimum wage right now because people are really suffering. We were hoping he would hear our stories so he could be better informed about the issue.”

“The $8 an hour minimum wage is appallingly low,” the post-secondary student added. “As a mother, people can’t afford to feed their families, feed their children on that low a wage … people are stuck in these [minimum wage] jobs. They really can’t escape them.”

ACORN member Pearl Davis who works at a donut shop, knows all too well the struggles associated with earning a lower wage.

“I’m having a hard time making ends meet,” the New Westminster resident said. “The rent’s always going up, the bills are going up. I can’t go out and do anything. I can’t go on vacation because I can’t afford it. I don’t have any fun. I just sit at home.”

ACORN is advocating an immediate increase in the minimum wage to $10 an hour, a change Davis believes would be a step in the right direction.

“At least it’s a start,” she said.

Bloy wasn’t available for comment.

 

Original article at: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/local/2010/09/02/15229011.html

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