Origins of the PEI Working Group for a Livable Income
During the winter and spring of 2003 to 2004, Cooper Institute held two five-week community promoter training programs and assisted in organizing three community workshops on minimum wage and low wages. The objectives were to raise awareness among Island communities about the reality of low-wage workers in PEI and to engage citizens in influencing public policy related to wage levels and working conditions. At the same time, other organizations on PEI, including Women's Network PEI, Association des femmes acadiennes et francophones de l'Î.-P.-É., and the PEI Federation of Labour were also involved in the issue of low wages. Eventually the discussion broadened from one of the impact of low wages, to one where all sources of income were considered - for example, social assistance, pensions, disability supports, Employment Insurance. As a result of a decision of one of the community workshops, Cooper Institute in September, 2003, sent an invitation to other organizations to form the PEI Working Group for a Livable Income.
The basic goal of the Working Group is to influence the attitudes and actions of the community, employees, employers, and public policy makers around the advantages of a livable income for all people. The PEI Working Group for a Livable Income believes that all citizens of PEI have a right to an income that allows them to live in good health and with dignity.