Jon Young and Brian O’Leary
High quality public schooling is an expensive commitment. In Manitoba the operating costs for the 2015-16 school year was $2.24 billion, which translates to an average per pupil operating cost of $12,537 (Manitoba Education and Training, 2017). In May of this year the Minister of Education and Training, Ian Wishart, announced plans to initiate a full-scale, long-term, review of education funding in the province. This short Fastfacts seeks to contribute to the review by suggesting three overarching themes to guide it: the importance of education as a public good; the importance of avoiding any drift towards a two-tiered public school system in the province; and, the importance of spending available resources wisely. 2
Education as a Public Good
An essential starting point for an informed discussion of education finance is the articulation of a set of touchstones, or core principles, of public schooling that can provide the framework for debating specific perspectives and proposals. At the heart of this in Manitoba has been the commitment to public schooling as a public good – the belief that a strong public school system is the cornerstone of a democratic society that promotes well-being and citizenship for all – and not simply a private good, or commodity that can be differentially purchased by individual consumers. Everything flows from this. Public schooling as a public good involves the commitment to: public funding – that the full costs of public schooling are shared fairly across all sectors of society; public access and equity – that all students should have the opportunity to benefit fully from high quality schooling regardless of geographic location, local economic factors, or family circumstances; and, public participation and accountability – that decisions about public schooling are made in a democratic manner, which in Manitoba has meant a level of local autonomy, including taxing authority, for locally elected school boards. These ideals are clearly expressed in the preamble to Manitoba’s Public Schools Act (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/p250e.php) and provide particular answers to the question “what makes public education public”. Funding reforms will either support or undermine and redefine these ideals.
Avoiding a Drift to a Two-Tiered Public School System
As already noted, a key aspect of a public education system in Manitoba has been a commitment to schooling as a “public good” rather than a “private good”. However, currently costs to parents can run as high as a thousand dollars a year per child when you include fieldtrips, lunch supervision, purchase of a tablet, rental of band instruments and other fees. Other developments – such as an increased dependence on fundraising (Winnipeg Free Press, June 22, 2017), the emergence of a number of elite “sports academies” with very substantial fees attached to them (Winnipeg Free Press, November 16, 2015), increased attention to the recruitment of international students (https://www.gov.mb.ca/ie/study/divisions/study_mb.html), and the government’s exploration of moving into public-private partnerships to build new schools (Winnipeg Free Press, May 2, 2017) – will raise questions for the upcoming funding review and the government’s commitment to the principles of equity and public funding. Initiatives – such as the Gordon Bell playing field or the Dakota “field of dreams” (Winnipeg Free Press, May 23, 2017) – may have compelling justifications and bring significant benefits to particular school communities but they are also contain a challenge because they slowly allow our attitudes towards public education to change and erode our commitment to public education. This point has been expressed forcefully by Annie Kidder, Executive Director of the organization People for Education, who when speaking about the increased reliance on fundraising in Ontario public schools commented that, “we are dangerously close to accepting the vision of public education as a charity” (Kidder, 2002, p. 43).
In Manitoba, where more than one-third of the operating costs of schools come from local school board taxes (see Table 1 on PDF only) differences in the relative wealth of school divisions provides a further equity issue that needs to be addressed.
Manitoba’s Financial Reporting and Accounting in Manitoba Education (FRAME) reports document significant, and growing, differences between school divisions in terms of per pupil expenditures tied in large part to differences in divisional property tax bases. Expressed as assessment per pupil (the total value of taxable property in the division divided by the number of students) this varies from a high of $670,922 in Fort La Bosse School Division down to $138,610 in Kelsey School Division, a factor of more than 4:1 (Manitoba Education & Training, 2017).3 Currently targeted provincial funding in the form of equalization grants ameliorates some, but not all, of this inequality. Differences in per pupil expenditure translate into different services – wealthy school divisions can provide full day, every day kindergarten classes, poor divisions can’t.
Moving away from this shared funding model to full provincial funding would address this issue, and is something than Minister Wishart has said the education finance review will examine. All other provinces have moved in this direction in recent years. However, in terms of the touchstones outlined above such a move carries with it the undesirable likelihood of significantly weakening the authority of local school boards. 4 Currently it is the school board that serves as the local interface between professional expertise and public participation and accountability, without which public school educators would lose an enduring source of support and legitimacy.
Without moving to full provincial funding a reduction in the size of the local funding contribution would reduce the impact of local tax base differences. In line with this the Manitoba School Boards Association has advocated for moving to a model that would see the province funding 80% of the operating costs of public schooling (Manitoba Association of School Trustees, 2005). While establishing an effective, politically palatable, mechanism for readjusting the provincial-school division funding balance has proven difficult, this shift coupled with a more robust provincial equalization formula could provide for increased funding equity between divisions without undermining the importance of school boards as the site of local participation in education decision-making.
What constitutes the best use of available resources for public schooling is always a critical question, both in terms of the quality of children’s schooling and in terms of the public’s confidence in their schools. Attention to available research coupled with specific local attention to actually measuring the effects of current practices and innovations have an important contribution to make to the wise use of resources.
In one of the most influential recent studies advocating a more systematic, evidence-based educational decision-making entitled Visible Learning New Zealand academic John Hattie, after synthesizing more than 800 meta-analyses of research on student learning world-wide, asserts two main arguments: (i) that we currently devote too much attention and resources to innovations that research shows are likely to have only small effects on student learning; and, (ii) that the most effective use of resources are those directed to the improvement of teaching. This is echoed by the highly influential Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that concluded:
The quality of a school cannot exceed the quality of its teachers and principals…. PISA results show that among countries and economics whose per capita GDP is more that USD 20,000 high performing school systems tend to pay more to teachers relative to their national income per capita (OECD, 2013, p. 26)
Any discussion of money and funding need to be broadly cast as about resources and making resources matter – with teachers as our most valuable resource. Across the province, are schools developing the talents of their staff and are those staff utilizing practices that are supported by research? Are we building a strong educational culture in our schools and communities? Are we ensuring that our strongest teachers and best administrators are serving the students who need them the most? Are schools making use of an array of evidence and data to monitor progress and guide ongoing improvements? Are we continuing to attract highly talented young people to the profession?
Finally, an effective review of education finance needs to recognize that school success is rarely achieved unconnected to broader social conditions beyond school, and policies that support investment in early childhood programs, accessible housing, income support, quality health care, family supports and neighbourhood development are crucial supports that schools and teachers need. In this regard Manitoba governments – both the last NDP government and the preceding Progressive Conservative government – have been pioneers in inter-sectoral policy development though the Healthy Child Manitoba policy strategy and its predecessor the Manitoba Children and Youth Secretariat. With the Healthy Child Manitoba Office now housed within the Department of Education and Training there is the potential for education funding and resources to be viewed in a more comprehensive and integrated manner.
A review of education finance is timely and will need to focus on the issue of spending wisely or “value-for-money”, but its success should be first and foremost measured by its contribution to nurturing a high quality, single-tiered, education system that serves equally all Manitobans and contributes to our public wellbeing. Will the public school system of the future provide real opportunity for all or only for some?
1This Fastfacts draws in a number of places on a longer discussion of education finance in Manitoba that the authors prepared for the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents in 2014 entitled Education finance and the pursuit of the goal of a high quality universally accessible public school system in Manitoba: Where are we, what challenges remain, and how can we meet them? http://mass.mb.ca/publications/
2 Given the limitations of space this Fastfacts does not address issues of the funding of independent schooling and home-schooling in Manitoba, nor does it discuss the funding of First Nations schools. Each of which warrant attention in its own right.
3 For Winnipeg are school divisions the range is from a high in Pembina Trails School Division of $555,462 per student and a low in Seven Oaks of $297,274.
4It is important to note that while all Canadian provinces except Manitoba have moved to a full provincial funding model they have not, for the most part, moved away from using property taxes, now provincially set and collected, in support of public schooling.
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning.
A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.
Kidder, A. (2002). Fundraising and corporate donations in schools: The beginning of a two-tier public education system. Education Canada, 42 (4), 42-3, 47.
Manitoba Association of School Superintendents (2016). Education finance and the pursuit of the goal of a high quality, universally accessible public school system in Manitoba: Where are we, what challenges remain, and how can we meet them? A MASS Education Finance Discussion Paper. www.mass.mb.ca/publications
Manitoba Education and Training (2017). Financial Reporting and Accounting in Manitoba Education: 2015-16 Budget. Winnipeg: Manitoba Education & Training. http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/finance/frame_report/index.html
Manitoba School Boards Association (MSBA), (2005). Explaining education funding and property taxation in Manitoba. A resource guide for school boards and the communities they serve. Winnipeg: MSBA. http://www.mbschoolboards.ca/publications.php
Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), (2010). Education at a glance. Paris: OECD.
Winnipeg Free Press (November 16, 2015). School eyes hockey academy. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/school-eyes-hockey-academy-350430561.html
Winnipeg Free Press (May 2, 2017). Province building four new schools with public-private partnerships. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/pallister-including-private-firms-to-build-four-new-schools-421015863.html
Winnipeg Free Press (May 23, 2017). Field of dreams is back on track. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/lance/Field-of-dreams-is-back-on-at-Dakota–423907074.html
Jon Young is Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, Brian O’Leary is the Superintendent of the Seven Oaks School Division
By Molly McCracken
Last week I was chatting with my uncle, a retiree on a fixed income, about the health service cuts at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He said “if the deficit is $83 million, why doesn’t everyone just paid a bit more in taxes and then cuts would not be required?” With consideration for one’s ability to pay, why not indeed?
Ideology is the answer. In Tax is Not a Four Letter Word, Alex and Jordan Himelfarb explain that the mantra “taxes are too high” is simply ideology when it is divorced from a discussion of what taxes buy. And what do they buy? A 2009 found that Canadians enjoy an average of $41,000 worth of public services annually. Pooling our resources allows us to enjoy health care, education, infrastructure and safe food. This is far more than most of us could afford individually given that the average wage for a single person in Canada is $32,100.
Separating taxes from the services they pay for is impossible. And taxes have already been cut substantially. Revenues as a percentage of GDP is the lowest in decades and is below the OECD average. We are paying with our social deficit of 164,000 Manitobans struggling with poverty and a looming climate crisis.
The rhetoric of tax cuts implies that they will pay for themselves. But as the provincial Conservative government rolls out its agenda, all we are seeing to date is cuts to crucial services like health care, leading to closures of three Winnipeg ERs and rural EMS, plus the elimination of specialized services from physiotherapists to lactation consultants.
Another assumption is tax cuts simulate the economy. But a corporate or business tax cut does not automatically result in economic growth. Since 2000 corporate taxes have been reduced from 28% to 15% yet the same Canadian corporations amassed over $500 billion in excess cash amidst a stagnant economy. The Great Recession was turned around by public stimulus spending, not private capital.
The tax cut ideology assumes that government is the problem, and from that it follows that the public service needs to be cut. Despite their electoral promises, the provincial Conservatives are cutting front line workers, and doing so in a manner that is not transparent. The “Value for Money” audit has not been released yet new cuts are announced weekly. They appear to be shooting from the hip. A look to the US reveals where business people elected to government shooting from the hip can take us.
Most Manitobans understand that good deal that taxes produce: 64% of us would pay higher taxes to protect our social programs; 60% support higher taxes on the rich to pay for needed programs.
Where can this revenue come from? The carbon tax is an opportunity to reduce carbon pollution and recycle revenue into green jobs. Manitoba needs an upper income tax bracket. The federal corporate business tax could be reinstated to 2000 levels and shared with the provinces. These steps alone would mean that scheduled service cuts need not be made while new progressive taxation options are explored.
The Manitoba NDP cut $1 billion in cumulative annual tax revenue during their time in office: $595 million in income tax reductions and $339 million in property tax reductions. This is the size of the current provincial deficit. If these tax cuts had not been made Manitoba would have been in a much better position to deal with the 2011 flood right after the 2008 Great Recession in the midst of declining federal transfers. But the NDP fell into the neoliberal tax cut rhetoric in an effort to appeal to right-of-centre voters. The reduction in revenue impeded the provinces’ ability to return to a balanced budget. With limited revenue, the NDP were framed by the Conservatives as “spend thrift”. Yet the problem was less that they were spending too much, and more that they were steadily cutting taxes.
So it is ironic that the provincial government sees tax cuts as a solution. Instead actions to date will have detrimental impacts on every day Manitobans. Our access to health care will be reduced and needed investments to end poverty – in basic needs, social housing, child care, mental health and post-secondary education – are not being made. And because the Conservative tax cut agenda has no plan to bring in replacement revenue, the strategy constitutes a recipe for still deeper service cuts. These cuts could very well lead to privatization as the Conservatives look to sell off assets to balance the budget, just as they did with Manitoba Telecom System in 1997.
We may grumble a bit when paying bills. But it’s important to remember that for all but the very richest among us, a decent quality of life requires the provision of public services. Taxes are the price we must pay for this.
An economic strategy based solely on cutting taxes, services and employees is a deeply flawed and will lead to a reduced quality of life. Instead we can pool our resources, managed effectively and efficiently, for today and future generations.
Previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press August 9, 2017
Molly McCracken is the director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba office.
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba (in Winnipeg)
Full time (35 hours/week) September 2017 – April 30, 2018
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Manitoba office (CCPA MB) is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates. CCPA has a national office in Ottawa, and provincial offices in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, as well as Manitoba.
The Coordinator will take over projects, communications and fundraising done by the CCPA MB Director while on parental leave. The Coordinator will report to the acting CCPA MB Director.
- Project management of key projects such as the State of the Inner City Report and other community-based research reports
- Represent CCPA MB at the Make Poverty History Manitoba committee and coordinate publication of upcoming MPHM community-based report to end poverty in Winnipeg
- Develop major speaking event for Spring 2017 with event producer
- Represent CCPA MB at relevant community groups and with key stakeholders, support related priority activities as a community-based research hub in consultation with the CCPA MB Director
Publications and Communications
- Receive submissions for publication and review with CCPA MB Director. Copy edit reports and commentary for publication.
- Work with Knowledge Translation and Communications Coordinator for publication and dissemination of key Manitoba Research Alliance publications
- Non-MRA-funded reports: develop communications plan with report authors and stakeholders. Draft and finalize press releases and oversee key messages and social media roll out.
Fundraising and relations with funders
- Work with CCPA MB Supporter Development Committee and Errol Black Chair in Fundraising Committee to implement fundraising plans
- Support Office Manager with logistics for CCPA MB events and fundraisers
- Develop and finalize content for annual mailings, with support of Office Manager
- Ensure funding reports and letters are sent to relevant funders
- Dedication to advancing social, economic and environmental justice using community-based approaches
- Strong organizational and time management skills
- Strong communications skills: editorial, press releases, social media and verbal
- Experience with communications: developing key messages, drafting press releases and media relations
- Understanding of community-based research and policy-oriented research and commentary
- Understanding of the local social justice community, including its key players and dynamics
- Conflict mediation skills and good community relations. Ability to work cooperatively in a small office environment
- Ability to work independently as well as take direction from others
- Computer skills: Microsoft Office Suite and social media (Twitter & Facebook).
- Post-secondary degree in social sciences coupled with training in communications
- Training in fundraising, project management, anti-oppression and conflict mediation an asset
This is a full time position at $1,072/ week for 32 weeks. Benefits available after a 3-month probation period. This is a unionized position.
Applications can be sent to email@example.com by Monday August 28th at 9 am. Please send a PDF of your CV/Resume and cover letter in an email with the subject heading “Coordinator application – (your name)”.
CCPA Manitoba is committed to equity hiring. Qualified individuals who identify as Indigenous, racialized, as a person with a disability, GLBTTQ* are encouraged to apply.
Thank you to all who apply. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
Knowledge Translation & Communications Coordinator – Job Posting
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba Office
Part Time until Feb 2019
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Manitoba office (CCPA – MB) is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates. CCPA has a national office in Ottawa, and provincial offices in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, as well as Manitoba. The Manitoba office is the lead for the Manitoba Research Alliance, currently concluding a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant “Partnering for Change: Community-based Solutions for Aboriginal and Inner City Poverty”.
The Manitoba Research Alliance is a group of academic researchers and community and government partners. Our work is interdisciplinary, widely accessible and facilitates the multi-directional flow of knowledge. Our genuine partnerships have given us unique community access and enabled an original contribution to an understanding of the complex problems of poverty and social exclusion and a clear understanding of our next steps.
The Knowledge Translation & Communications Coordinator is a new part time position created to communicate research results to decision makers and key audiences. The position reports directly to the CCPA- MB Director. They are responsible for delivering key KT projects for the CCPA Manitoba and the Manitoba Research Alliance.
Roles and responsibilities:
Develop Knowledge Translation (KT) & Communications Plan
- Develop KT Plan based on MRA and CCPA Manitoba research
- Identifies key projects for KT Plans based on maximum potential impact related to KT approaches
- Develops overall plan and plan specific to key reports
- Editor of KT newsletter based on key MRA and CCPA Mb reports for policy-makers, community-based organizations and allied groups
- Summarizes key reports in plain or populist language
- Makes this “user-friendly” via inclusion of photographs etc.
- Oversees layout & distribution of two newsletters
Media & Social Media for key report launches
- Develops media release plan with report authors
- Writes press releases for reviews, targets key media for coverage
- Works with report authors to identify key messages that can be conveyed over social media
- Develops infographics, memes and other easy-to-use materials in consultation with report authors
- Work with authors on short videos of research, where resources available
Public Engagement Events
- Organizes KT public engagement events with community partners
- Ensures events are accessible to public and well facilitated
Meetings with Public Policy Decision-makers
- Works with report authors to identify which public policy decision makers are a priority to engage with on research results
- Liaises to set up these meetings, helps authors prepare and follow up
- Tracking and evaluation of activities listed above
Experience and Skills required:
Knowledge Translation & Communication Skills
- Proven ability to do media relations and publicity, including developing key messages, writing press releases and strategically engaging with media for maximum impact
- Understanding of public policy frameworks and protocols when interacting with decision-makers to share research results
- Basic understanding of community-based research methodologies
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to interact with researchers, public and media in a friendly and competent manner
- Post-secondary degree in political science, urban studies, economics, sociology or criminology an asset.
- Degree or training in communications/ knowledge translation.
- Microsoft office suite
- InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator
- Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Basic video recording and editing skills
Bookkeeping and Administration:
- General financial record keeping
- Tracking outputs and outcomes for evaluation
- Ability to work cooperatively in a small office environment
- Strong time management and organizational skills
- Ability to work independently as well as take direction from others
- Dedication to social and economic justice with an interest in ending poverty and social exclusion.
- Knowledge of community-based organizations in Manitoba
- Good community relations and conflict mediation skills
- Training in, and/ or awareness of anti-oppression practices
This is a part-time positon for 21 months at $26.50/ hour for 16 hours/ week.
Applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday August 28th at 9 am. Please send a PDF of your CV/ Resume and cover letter in an email with the subject heading “KT & Communications application – (your name)”.
In April of 2017, it was announced that there would be dramatic changes in the way that healthcare would be delivered in Manitoba. One of the biggest users of the healthcare system are marginalized populations who live in poverty especially persons with disabilities and seniors. The changes that were announced include the closures of Seven Oaks, Concordia, Victoria Hospital emergency rooms and Misericordia urgent care centre in Winnipeg. With plans for the Seven Oaks and Victoria Hospital emergency rooms to be converted into urgent care centres. As a person with a disability and Elmwood resident, I immediately had concerns regarding how this short-sighted decision will have a detrimental impact on marginalized communities in North East Winnipeg. In my area people living in poverty which includes persons with disabilities face many barriers when it comes to accessing healthcare. The changes announced further complicate the barriers to the medical system that people living in poverty and with disabilities encounter on a daily basis.
As a resident of Northeast Winnipeg, the closure of the Concordia Hospital emergency room will have a detrimental effect on my community even more so for seniors and persons with disabilities. A disproportionate number of persons with disabilities and seniors live in poverty who struggle to afford things such as food, rent and transportation which are critical for daily survival. The closet options for my community will be to access the urgent care centre at Seven Oaks Hospital and the emergency rooms at the Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface hospital or the Grace Hospital which would take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour from Northeast Winnipeg. As the boundaries of my community include the Canadian National main rail line at the south and the Red River to the West getting to these options can be extremely difficult especially in rush hour which can delay a person’s commute time.
Handi-Transit users suffer even more especially due to the regulations which stipulate that transportation must be arranged 24 hours before their scheduled appointment. In the evenings, especially late at night when the Handi-transit call centre (call center closes at 10:00 pm) is closed it would be very difficult arrange accessible transportation in the middle of the night especially during an Emergency. Persons living in poverty struggle to find the financial resources to afford the bus especially when someone needs medical attention and is forced to go to either a hospital emergency room or an urgent care centre outside of our area.
It is quite clear that the most vulnerable populations in our society will be detrimentally impacted by the changes announced to the delivery of healthcare within Manitoba and Winnipeg.
Carlos Sosa is a disability rights activist in Winnipeg
Award-winning journalist to share “Stories of Democracy, Resistance and Hope”
Friday September 29, 2017
Doors 7:00 pm; Program 8:00 pm
Knox United Church
400 Edmonton Stre
WINNIPEG — The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba (CCPA-MB) welcomes award-winning journalist and host of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman, to Winnipeg for a community speaking engagement Friday, September 29, 2017 at Knox United Church (400 Edmonton St. | Doors: 7PM • Program: 8PM).
Entitled “Stories of Democracy, Resistance and Hope,” Amy Goodman’s evening talk will illuminate and recount her personal experiences as a journalist and organizer with citizen/grassroots-based movements — these, whom daily confront and resist repressive governments and regimes in support of social, economic and climate justice. For example, Goodman has been on the ground covering stories of police brutality and racial profiling in Ferguson Missouri, the Occupy Wall Street protests and the East Timor massacre in 1991. In 2016, Goodman was arrested while covering protests of the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock, North Dakota. The charges, which were condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists, were ultimately dismissed.
Amy Goodman is an American broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author of six books. Since 1996, Goodman has hosted Democracy Now!: a daily, independent, award-winning news program broadcast on public radio, satellite television across the world. Goodman is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gandhi Peace Award for “a significant contribution to the promotion of enduring international peace,” the 1998 George Polk Award (with Jeremy Scahill) for investigative reporting on Chevron’s role in Nigeria’s dictatorship, and the 1993 Robert F Kennedy Prize for International Reporting (with Allan Nairn) for coverage of the East Timor independence movement and Santa Cruz Massacre.
Amy Goodman, David Goodman and Denis Moynihan recently published “Democracy Now!: 20 Years Covering the Movements Changing America”. This New York Times Bestseller will be available for sale at the event.
Ticket and post-talk reception with Amy Goodman $100 (includes $50 tax deductible receipt from CCPA)
Limited number of reduced rate tickets are available for those whom which cost is a barrier. Please call 204-927-3209 for availability.
Thank you to our event sponsors:
CKUW 95.9FM, Fernwood Publishing, Rabble.ca, 101.5 UMFM and the University of Winnipeg.
For more information or media requests regarding the event please contact Molly McCracken, Director of CCPA Manitoba at 204.927.3200.
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press Friday July 14, 2017
By Lynne Fernandez and Ian Hudson
In March of 2017, the Premier claimed that for every one per cent the province lowered (or didn’t raise) wages for 120,000 provincial public sector workers, it would save $100 million. This simple calculation provides grist for Bill 28, The Public Services Sustainability Act which mandates all those who employ provincial public sector workers to hold future increases to zero per cent for the first two years of a new contract, no more than 0.75 per cent for the third year, and no more than 1.0 per cent for the fourth. Read More
By Lynne Fernandez
Notwithstanding stable economic growth and consistently low unemployment, poverty remains a problem in Manitoba. In 2014, 11 per cent of Manitobans lived in low income. That’s down from 11.8 per cent in 2011, however child poverty continues to be stubbornly high, with the 2014 rate at 16.2 per cent. Read More
Winnipeg: The most recent living wage for Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson will be released on Thursday June 29th at 12:00 at the Social Enterprise Centre, second floor 765 Main St. by economist Lynne Fernandez.
The Living Wage is a regional calculation based the amount that a family of four needs to earn to meet basic expenses. The living wage is based on the local cost of rent, groceries, transportation, child care and extended health care. It does not include debt repayment, pension or long term savings.
A living wage addresses child poverty and is an opportunity for employers to do better than pay the legislated minimum wage. The living wage takes into account government transfers and demonstrates how public policy in areas like housing and child care can positively impacts families.
The living wage calculation is a standard calculation used by the offices of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
The most recent update in 2013 found the living wage for Winnipeg as $14.07/ hour, Brandon as $13.41/ hour and Thompson as $13.46/ hour. Join us this Thursday at 12:00 noon to learn how much it has increased.
Directions to the Social Enterprise Centre, 765 Main St.