Pathway To Potential Director Adam Vasey speaks about the Living Wage campaign, August 25, 2015. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

Friendly Competition Heats Up Living Wage Campaign

Windsor-Essex is at the top of the list with Hamilton for having the most employers committed to paying a living wage as part of a province-wide campaign.

Both communities have 31 as part of campaign that started in March 2015, but only recently added the element of competition between partner organizations.

Pathway to Potential is heading up the local campaign effort and its director, Adam Vasey, says the campaign allows an opportunity for employers to be better educated on the matter.

“Sometimes they’re very aware of the issue and they understand the benefits already,” says Vasey. “But for other employers, some don’t know or hadn’t known what the living wage was in our community.”

Vasey says paying a living wage has benefits to employers like reducing staff turnover and gives employees the security of being able to afford the basics in life.

The friendly competition to see which community will have the most living wage employers committed is set to wrap November 6 — the end of living wage week in the province.

Vasey doesn’t want to lose the top spot to Hamilton.

“They were sort of jokingly saying to us that they were going to quickly overtake us, but we’re committed to not let that happen,” says Vasey. “We want keep going fast and furious and recruit as many as we possibly can.”

Vasey adds the living wage campaign is separate from the effort to have the province bring in a $15 an hour minimum wage.

“Where they’re related is that we’re all talking about the importance of income and adequate wages for a person’s health and for the health of a community,” says Vasey.

The 31 employers committed to providing a living wage in Windsor-Essex employ 6,700 people according to Vasey.

Pathway to Potential outlines a living wage in Windsor-Essex as $13.10 an hour with benefits or $14.15 an hour without.