Here’s how YOU can make a difference in the Health of our community!
“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country … by living wages, I mean more than the bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of a decent living.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Business leaders looking for ways to make a difference in helping the Monadnock Region become the healthiest community in the nation by the year 2020 can make a difference.
Did you know that health outcomes in a community are not due solely to the quality of medical care and health coverage? In fact, only 10 to 20 percent of health outcomes can be attributed to healthcare services.
What makes more of an impact are often overlooked factors called social determinants of health; these include biology, lifestyle, social, socioeconomic and environmental factors.
Healthy Monadnock is working to even the socioeconomic playing field by promoting a living wage in our region, and YOU can help make a difference.
In support of the Healthy Monadnock vision, the Living Wage Monadnock Coalition was formed to achieve the goal of inspiring at least 50 employers in the Monadnock Region to pledge to implement a living wage by the year 2020; the coalition is comprised of business, faith, social service, government, nonprofit and education leaders.
First, some background on the living wage problem in our region:
NARROWING THE GAP
In New Hampshire, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, the default federal level because the State has not mandated differently. For those working a 40-hour week, that comes to $290 a week, $1,256 a month and $15,080 a year — before taxes. A living wage in the Granite State, on the other hand, is an estimated $11.43 per hour.
But the Living Wage Monadnock Coalition found that a living wage that supports a safe and decent lifestyle is $15 an hour for this region. Today, 40 percent of Monadnock Region workers make less than a living wage at their jobs.
Not only does raising hourly wages to a living wage help improve health outcomes, according to studies, but it also benefits both employers and employees. Living wages have a positive impact on employee recruitment and retention, it stimulates the economy and creates a positive brand perception for employers, clients and partners alike.
INSPIRING MORE TO JOIN
The goal of the Living Wage Monadnock Coalition is to inspire at least 50 employers in the region to implement a plan to achieve the living wage vision by the year 2020.
As of July 2017, seven employers have committed to providing a living wage for their employees. These include:
- Antioch University New England
- W.S. Badger
- Tree-Free Greetings
- The Insurance Source
- Keene Housing
- Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce
- Deep Roots Massage and Bodywork
The group was recently awarded a $20,000 grant to help advocate for higher pay and educating communities on the impact wages have on health and business; the grant, the Roadmaps Collaborative Learning grant, is part of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R), a program that is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
YOUR INVOLVEMENT IS KEY
There are many ways to become involved in this important work. Here are a few examples:
- Adopt and implement a policy to support a living wage for all full- and part-time permanent employees.
- Create an action plan to phase in the living wage of $15/hour (if the employer does not contribute to employee’s health insurance costs) or $13.62/hour (if employers pay at least $226/per month towards employee’s health insurance costs) by December 31, 2020.
- Share your story of becoming a living wage employer with others in the region, state and nation by visiting the Living Wage Monadnock Campaign website at www.monadnocklivingwage.org.
- Join the group
Join us today and help make a difference in making our region the healthiest in the nation by the year 2020!