Led by United Way Niagara, Niagara’s Living Wage Program Announces 2022 Wage Calculation
Niagara, ON, November 14, 2022 – Nearly seven years after the release of the first living wage calculation for Niagara, the Living Wage Program has found a new home with United Way Niagara. Previously housed with the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network (NPRN), the living wage program has made significant progress in Niagara. With 86 employers in Niagara certified to pay a living wage, United Way is excited to have the opportunity to continue the momentum.
Living wage benefits more than just the employee earning it. Aside from increased employee mental and physical well-being, employers realize greater retention rates, increased productivity and lower absenteeism.
“By adopting the living wage program, United Way Niagara can increase the program’s capacity in the region,” says Frances Hallworth, Chief Executive Officer, United Way Niagara. “The living wage program perfectly aligns with United Way’s goals to reduce poverty in Niagara. By definition, poverty is a lack of income, and by supporting a living wage, we are directly impacting a household’s income level. We are excited to continue this work and create meaningful economic impacts in the Niagara community”.
“An hourly living wage reflects what workers in a household need to earn, based on the actual cost of living, to allow for social inclusion in addition to affording basic needs,” says Isha Dadhwal, Living Wage Program Coordinator, United Way Niagara. “Living wage benefits more than just the employee earning it. Aside from increased employee mental and physical well-being, employers realize greater retention rates, increased productivity and lower absenteeism. Providing wages that allow a household to meet its basic cost of living needs is important to support the reduction of poverty in Niagara region”.
Niagara’s living wage for 2022 is $19.80 per hour, an increase from $18.90 last year. The methodology used to produce the cost of living and living wage calculations comes from the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN). “We look at major expenses that workers face such as shelter costs, transportation, childcare, and food. We also consider other expenses such as internet access, social activities, and clothing. Applicable government taxes, transfers, and benefits are factored in as well to determine the living wage,” says Craig Pickthorne, Communication Coordinator, Ontario Living Wage Network.
The living wage program is fully funded by the Niagara Prosperity Initiative through Niagara Region.
United Way Niagara is committed to promoting the Ontario Living Wage Network’s provincial living wage employer certification program. To date, 86 employers from across Niagara region have become living wage certified. Employers can use the living wage rate as a base, and know that they are paying an amount that allows for more than just surviving.