Minimum wage increase will cost City of Ottawa $3.6M

Ottawa City Hall
Ottawa City Hall

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.

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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.

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