May Day is a day we celebrate workers around the world and their struggle for rights and fair compensation. In the spirit of solidarity and in Christian Peacemaker Team’s commitment to undoing oppressions, it is with great excitement that we announce that CPT will be implementing a living wage model in how we compensate CPTers with no CPTer receiving a pay deduction.
Thirty-five years ago, CPT was formed to bring nonviolent change to lethal conflicts around the world. Over the decades, CPT has grown and shifted, recognizing that violent conflict is rooted in oppression. In this spirit, CPT has dedicated itself to be an organization committed to transforming violence and oppression. This means transforming oppression not only in the places we work but also within the organization itself.
In today’s world, oppression takes on many forms, including the oppression in how workers are compensated for their labor. Pivotal in bringing an end to violence is bringing an end to economic oppression experienced by so many. As we express our solidarity with workers worldwide and advocate for workers’ rights, we look within our organization to see how we can better compensate CPTers for their work.
For decades CPT has operated on a stipend system to compensate its workers, with every worker receiving approximately the same amount of money no matter their location. Yet, we know ‘the same’ does not always mean equal, and some CPTers were struggling to cover their basic expenses. As CPT strives to transform oppression within our world, we admit we need to transform how we compensate CPTers.
Choosing to shift our model to one that provides a living wage was not an issue, but having the financial resources to pay the living wage was the challenge. After thoughtful conversation and pouring over spreadsheets, we knew we had to take the step; the pandemic had reminded us again of why systemic fairness is vital in the work of justice.
In a capitalist society, the value of labour is expressed through financial compensation. Yet, at CPT, we want to acknowledge that the work of every CPTer is invaluable. There is no monetary amount that could represent the quality of this work. So while we do not compensate for the value of labour, we want to compensate so that CPTers can live a healthy life.