Goderich asked to become certified Living Wage Employer

2018 Living Wage in Perth-Huron: (Left to right)Tabitha Fisher (Libro), Warden Jim Ginn, Marty Rops (Libro), Pam Hanington (Huron County Health Unit), Mike Ash, Ryan Erb, Susanna Reid, Kathy Vassilakos (photo submitted)

The co-chair of the Perth-Huron United Way’s Social Research and Planning Council told Goderich councillors Tuesday night that a “living wage” is not the minimum wage.

Dr. Erica Clark explained that it’s become clear people have to make more than a minimum wage in order to cover the costs of things like housing, transportation, utility bills, child care and food.

“What we’ve been finding is that employers that are certified living wage employers, that pay their employees a living wage, find that they have lower employee turnover, lower rates of absenteeism and they end up saving on hiring and training costs,”┬ásaid Clark.

She said of the unique challenges throughout Southwestern Ontario today is there are lots of jobs available, but the cost of housing is beyond what those jobs pay.

Dr. Erica Clark – Co-Chair, Perth-Huron United Way Social Research and Planning Council (photo by Bob Montgomery)

“Affordable housing is an issue in Huron County and the living wage is part of the conversation. So it’s recognizing that if somebody’s going to actually take that job they need to be able to make a living off of that job. They need to be able to make ends meet,” she said.

Dr. Clark asked Goderich to consider becoming a certified Living Wage Employer. That request was referred to staff.