Living Wage: The Key to Dignity, Prosperity, and Community

One of our core values at ECS is Dignity. Every person has inherent worth and dignity that should be respected in every aspect of life. This belief is not only based on Episcopalian traditions, but it is also rooted in the social work code of ethics.

In our work, we strive to design programs, operations, and advocacy initiatives that uphold the dignity of our participants and the communities in which they live. We also know that achieving dignity is impossible without access to crucial resources – including and especially a living wage. 

Let’s take a closer look at how a living wage aligns with our values and how it is an essential element as we help participants move along the Bridge to Prosperity.

  1. A Dignified Life

A living wage is a key factor in allowing people to live a dignified life. With a living wage, individuals and families can afford basic necessities like food, housing, health care, and transportation. When people are not struggling to make ends meet, they have more time and energy to focus on other aspects or “pillars” of their lives – such as education, personal growth, and community involvement. Thus, a living wage is not only essential for basic survival, but it is also necessary for people to enjoy a fulfilling and dignified life.

  1. Thriving and Productivity

When people are paid a living wage, they are not only able to meet their basic needs, but they also have the potential to thrive and become more productive members of society. With this, people can access opportunities that were once barred to them, leading to an improved quality of life. Moreover, increased productivity results in the advancement of their work skills, which can be passed to future generations. Thus, in the long run, a living wage can lead to greater social and financial stability, affording individuals and families the opportunity to participate more fully in their communities.

  1. Community Prosperity

One of the benefits of a living wage is its potential impact on the larger community. When people have more money, they spend more, which has a ripple effect on local economies. Small businesses thrive when people have more money in their pockets to purchase products and services. Moreover, when the members of a community are satisfied with their lives, they are more likely to voluntarily engage in activities aimed at making the community better. In this sense, a living wage supports community prosperity in a meaningful and sustainable way.

  1. Equal Opportunity for All

Finally, a living wage promotes equal opportunity. ECS staff know that those who grew up in a low-income family or community will face disadvantages when they enter the labor market, starting with lower wages as compared to their peers. However, by implementing living wage policies, everyone is guaranteed a chance to contribute to society on a more equal footing. It also teaches people that work is worth doing, helping them to develop a sense of self-worth and a positive outlook on life despite the obstacles they face.

Join our efforts.

Help us ensure that every person in the country can live with the respect and dignity they deserve. At ECS, we support State Senator Art Haywood’s initiative to RAISE THE WAGE in Pennsylvania. 

Click here to add your name to the petition and demand a living wage!

Spread the word – share this blog with a friend, post a link to the petition on your social media accounts, and make sure to use #FightForPayInPA!