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LETTER: Salary of $40K isn't what it used to be

To deny today's workers a livable wage is 'inhumane,' letter writer says
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CollingwoodToday welcomes letters to the editor at erika@collingwoodtoday.ca. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a letter regarding education workers’ salaries, published Sept. 24.
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The letter from Mr. Crawford stating that education workers who make $40,000 per year don’t deserve to earn a livable wage shows how out of touch Mr. Crawford is.

I am guessing that Mr. Crawford’s father and I may be the same age and I, too, worked hard and was able to attain the same standard of living as Mr. Crawford’s dad.

In the ’60s, when I was entering the workforce, there were plenty of good-paying jobs and the cost of housing, food, energy and vehicles was such that my wages allowed me to achieve a good standard of living for both me and my family.

Consecutive federal and provincial governments failed miserably in protecting workers and their families. Employers took full advantage of business-friendly trade deals that saw good-paying jobs disappear offshore by the tens of thousands.

This massive loss of jobs created a perfect storm for employers who were able to freeze wages and benefits while their profits soared. The worker who is doing Mr. Crawford’s dad’s job today is facing astronomical costs for housing, energy and food and to deny him/her the right to earn a livable wage is inhumane.

Just a footnote: A few months ago I issued a $50,000 challenge to some local federal politicians and needless to say I received no reply because they know that the simple math says $50,000 will not cover rent/mortgage $1,500 per month, food $800 per month, gas $400 per month, utilities $300 per month, insurance home/car $200 per month and cell/internet $200 per month. All these figures total $40,800 and are low for a young family and don’t include clothing, car/home repairs, entertainment and no mention of income tax or unexpected health care not covered by the provincial government.

I, too, can be smug and ignore the plight of workers today, but I see the struggles my grandchildren are facing despite having a good education.

Mr. Crawford should walk a mile in the shoes of the workers who are living on $40,000 per year.

Ken Robertson
Collingwood

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