A living wage is not the same as the minimum wage. The minimum wage is the wage mandated by the provincial government that employers must pay all workers. In Alberta, the minimum wage is $15.00 per hour and $13.00 per hour for workers under the age of 18. In Edmonton, the last reported cost of living is $16.51 and has been higher in the past. Here at White Stag, we appreciate our team’s work and have vowed to provide a living wage or more to our employees.
Janitors are necessary for a healthy, functioning society. They work hard; they do dirty and repetitive jobs; they may work late at night or flexible hours during the daytime. It is not a skill-less job. The year 2020 has brought on new challenges with the addition of SARS-COVID-19 to the list of viral infections janitors help protect the public from. They deserve to be paid fairly for what they do.
There’s a famous story about Former President John F. Kennedy’s encounter with a janitor who was cleaning at NASA. Kennedy asked the man what he was doing, to which the custodian replied, “Mr. President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.” That’s the kind of pride that exemplifies the true role of a janitor’s work.