By working for the current minimum wage in Ontario, most workers are living in poverty. Instead of paying people a minimum wage, we support the implementation of a Living Wage. It’s the hourly wage needed for a family to afford basic everyday expenses, such as housing, food, clothing, utility bills, and child care. The hourly Living Wage rate is based on the living expenses of a family of four with both parents working full-time for 37.5 hours a week. The Living Wage rate doesn’t cover things like owning a home, saving for retirement, paying down debt or saving for your children’s education. A living wage is calculated based on what it costs to live in a specific community, so living wage rates change from community to community as living expenses change. The current living wage rate in Hamilton is $14.95/hour. Living Wage Hamilton has been busy trying to get individual employers to sign on as living wage employers. This petition is meant to compliment their efforts by letting our City Council know that the City of Hamilton needs to step up and ensure ALL employees of the City make, at least, a living wage. Most City of Hamilton employees already earn better than a living wage, so you may be asking, why start with city employees? If the City becomes a Living Wage employer, it raises the profile of living wage across Hamilton and encourages other large and small employers to adopt living wage as well. The largest group of City employees not earning a living wage already are casual and summer workers in addition to many library workers. Workers who move from a minimum wage to a living wage spend that money in the community. The ripple effect of a living wage on the local economy is meaningful. City staff and previous Councils have explored the idea of a living wage before and it remains on their radar. Never before has the price of admission to being a Living Wage Employer been so low. Please sign the petition and ask your City Council and individual Councillors to take a positive step forward for our City by making it a Living Wage employer. We hope this is the first step in making EVERY employer in Hamilton a living wage employer. Some backgrounders: 1) How increasing minimum wage does NOT lead to lower employment levels. 2) Impact of a Living Wage on communities. 3) Why paying a Living Wage makes sense . 4) Living Wage is an idea whose time has come .