City staff estimate that proposed increases to Ontario’s minimum wage will cost the city roughly $3.6 million by 2019.
Responding to an earlier inquiry by Coun. Tim Tierney, Marian Simulik, general manager of corporate services, sent a memo to the Finance and Economic Development Committee suggesting that the gradual increase to the provincial minimum wage will affect the city to the tune of $2.1 million in 2018 (when wages go up to $14 per hour) and another $1.5 million in 2019 (when wages will hit $15).
The city based those numbers on the 2,878 city employees who currently make less than $15 an hour. As of Aug. 17, 815 employees make the minimum wage of $11.40 an hour (though in the summer this number is highly inflated by summer student positions), according to Marianne Phillips, director of human resources at the city.
Coun. Catherine McKenney said that, when it comes to city employees, the cost should not matter in order to pay people a living wage.
“If we have people working for us that are not making enough money to get by and to live, then so be it.
“It’s still a $3.8-billion budget. We can afford $3.5 million,” she said.
This article originally appeared in Metro News.