EPC motion to implement $15 per hour minimum wage rate does not go far enough: CUPE
October 22, 2020 at 10:13 PM
On October 20, the City’s Executive Policy Committee (EPC) passed a motion to implement a fifteen ($15.00) dollar per hour minimum wage rate for all direct employees at the City of Winnipeg. However, the wage rate would not take effect until 2023 and does not include any indexing/cost of living increases between now and 2023, or beyond.
“This motion does not go far enough on a number of fronts,” said Local 500 President Gord Delbridge. “We believe it’s important for the City of Winnipeg to become a certified living wage employer that not only commits to paying its own employees a living wage, but also ensures it applies to employees of contractors and subcontractors that perform work for the city.”
A “living wage” is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs. These needs amount to maintaining a safe and decent standard of living within the community.
Currently 13% of workers at the City and contractors earn less than $15 per hour, many of whom are women, young, Indigenous, or racialized workers.
“While we are pleased that 87% of Winnipeg’s employees and contractors are paid above a Living Wage, waiting until 2023 for the $15.00 to take effect, will impact those workers who have already fallen behind, even further,” Delbridge said.
Across the country, a number of municipalities have already adopted or are in the process of adopting a certified living wage policy.
"By adopting a certified living wage policy for its direct staff and contractors, the City of Winnipeg would be making it a bit easier for their employees and their families to meet their expenses,” added Delbridge.
At the EPC meeting, two City Councillors voiced their opposition to workers being paid a fair living wage. They are: Councillor Browaty (North Kildonan) and Councillor Gillingham (St. James).
The living wage issue will be considered by City Council when they next meet on October 29, 2020.
For additional information, visit Living Wage Canada.