3 more London, Ont. employers certified as providing living wages

Saint Vincent de Paul is certified as a living wage employer in London. From left to Right: Mike Courey (London Poverty Research Centre co-ordinator), Judy Mepsted (stores manager) and Larry Hamilton (HR, store committee). London Poverty Research Centre

Three more London, Ont., employers have been added to a growing list of businesses providing a living wage for their employees, according to King’s University College’s London Poverty Research Centre.

The living wage — not to be confused with the province’s minimum wage of $14 per hour — was most recently calculated at $16.20 per hour in London.

“The living wage is a calculation of what a family of four needs to make per hour working full-time in order to support themselves in a moderate way in London, Ontario,” said centre co-ordinator Michael Courey.

Courey says that in 2016, the Living Wage Network of London calculated the living wage at just over $15 an hour.

“So we’ve had about a four or five per cent increase in the living wage in the last three years.”

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On Tuesday, the London Poverty Research Centre announced St. Vincent de Paul, Nexreg Compliance, and Mobials as the latest to be certified.

Interest in the certification has peaked since the latest living wage number was announced in November 2019, according to Courey.

“We’ve had actually close to a dozen different employers contacting us and three of them have gone through with the full certification at this time,” he told Global News Radio 980 CFPL.

“I think that we actually might end up, across the province, having the largest list of living wage employers within the next year or so.”

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Saint Vincent de Paul thrift stores have two locations in London and offer affordable clothing, furniture, household items, toys, books and more, according to the London Poverty Research Centre.

“Our mission is to assist the poor in our community,” said Larry Hamilton with Saint Vincent de Paul. “We believe that we should set an example in the community by paying our employees a living wage.”

Mobials Inc. is certified as a living wage employer in London. From left to right: Mike Courey (London Poverty Research Centre co-ordinator), Marty Meadows, James Hayes, Brad Hanebury and David Brebner. London Poverty Research Centre

According to its website, Mobials employs 45 people in London. The company provides “software solutions for businesses by combining technology, data, and personal service” to help clients and consumers make informed decisions.

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“Our core values are built on the foundation: be better,” said the company’s HR director Robin Minielly. “Giving back to and taking care of our team and community is important to us as a company. At Mobials, we believe that a simple way we can work towards this is by ensuring that we provide more than a living wage to our employees.”

Nexreg Compliance Inc. is certified as a living wage employer in London. From left to right: Mae Hrycak, James Dayus, Mike Harvey and Mike Courey (London Poverty Research Centre co-ordinator). London Poverty Research Centre

Nexreg Compliance Inc. provides “comprehensive regulatory compliance services,” according to a release.

“We realize that our employees are our most important asset and as such, we are committed to treating our employees well and ensuring that they are compensated in a way that allows for them to participate in community activities and provide for their household needs,” said Nexreg’s Mike Harvey.

Click to play video: 'Understanding a Living Wage'
Understanding a Living Wage

Courey added that people working full-time should be able to enjoy living a “somewhat economically secure life.”

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“While the living wage doesn’t include debt repayment and long-term savings, it at least continues to put a little bit of emphasis on increasing that minimum wage and it also has other, broader community impacts, such as just more economic security, which means people are better able to participate in the community.”

The three latest entrants join 15 others previously certified in London, including United Way Elgin Middlesex, King’s University College, Libro Credit Union and the London Convention Centre.

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