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The United Way of Bruce Grey (UWBG) has released their 2019 Living Wage Study and has found that, for a two income family in the region, at full time hours, a living wage rate of at least $18.39 per hour is required.

“If we set the bar on what we can endure, we will never thrive as a community or economy,” said Francesca Dobbyn, Executive Director of United Way of Bruce Grey. “A living wage adds to the economy, building capacity and reducing people’s dependency on support programs. It allows one to live, not just exist.”

In a UWBG media release, the United Way began issuing a living wage report in 2014 using a single income family profile. To add their voice to the provincial Ontario Living Wage call for action, the United Way reconfigured their data to align with the provincial representative family framework. The framework was developed by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“A job should lift the employee out of poverty,” Dobbyn explained further. “With the significant increases to the cost of housing we see locally, people are working yet sliding further and further into poverty.” While no one should live below the poverty line, there is an understanding and an expectation that being employed should lift that person and their family out of poverty.

The United Way is a living wage employer and will be starting a campaign to recognize local living wage employers in the region beginning in 2020.

The living wage profile is based on a two income, full time (35 hours a week) family with a seven year old child who requires child care both before and after school and a three year old child who requires full time year round child care. This family lives in a three bedroom apartment and pays only for electricity. Due to the lack of rural transportation, they need two vehicles to maintain their employment. Neither job provides benefits so they are paying for benefits themselves along with critical illness insurance. One parent is participating in educational upgrading at the local college with a plan to get a better job.

The budget does not include funds for savings, education savings for the children, home ownership costs, costs to take care of a family member, pets, social engagements or debt repayments.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The figures included are an average across the two counties and do not directly reflect the cost of living in Saugeen Shores. 

Images supplied. 

Calculation Breakdown Grey Bruce

2019 Living Wage UWBG 1

2019 Living Wage UWBG 2

Last updated: November 8, 2019

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