City of Vancouver to become a Living Wage Employer

July 8, 2015 | Jobs and the Economy

City Council has unanimously passed a motion from Mayor Gregor Robertson calling on Vancouver to become a living wage employer, ensuring that all City employees and wage earning contractors will earn enough to cover basic expenses such as rent, food, transportation, and child care.

“In Vancouver, we believe that full time work should provide families with a basic level of opportunity and economic security – and that no hard-working family should be left behind in poverty,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Making the City of Vancouver a Living Wage employer is an important way we can lead by example to help local families make ends meet, and I hope many other local employers will consider taking similar steps to strengthen our community and economy.”

City staff will now report back on steps necessary to achieve certification as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Campaign, a Vancouver-based organization that has already certified a range of employers, including the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, the City of New Westminster, SAP and the United Way. The implementation process typically takes several years, starting with direct civic employees before being extended to contract employees.

In Vancouver, it is estimated the living wage required by both wage earners in a four-person family is $20.68.

“Even as Vancouver’s economic growth continues to lead the country, far too many families aren’t seeing their wages keeping up with the high cost of housing, transportation, and living expenses in and around our city – with 20% of Greater Vancouver families with children unable to meet their basic needs,” added the Mayor. “A living wage will ensure that families of all backgrounds can afford to live and work in the City of Vancouver, while making Vancouver a healthier and stronger community to call our home.”

To read the Mayor’s motion in full, click here: