The past year at the Living Wage for Families Campaign has been an exciting one, full of change and growth at a time of flux and uncertainty.
We have produced an impact report that highlights our success this year and lays out our focus for the year ahead. Read the report.
Growth in Living Wage Employers
The COVID-19 pandemic had many employers experience challenges and uncertainties they have never experienced before. They had to furlough or lay-off staff and close their doors while still needing to pay rent and other bills. Despite this, we have seen an increase in the number of Living Wage Employers.
For the first half of 2020 there were 25 new Living Wage Employers, compared to 21 for the same period last year and 14 in 2018. As a result of the campaign there are over 25,000 people in BC who don’t need to worry about how they will afford rent, food and other essentials for their family because their employer has guaranteed to pay them a Living Wage.
Increase in Local Government Living Wage Employers
There are now 11 local government Living Wage Employers – 8 municipalities, two First Nation councils and one school district. We are starting to see the ripple effect of this, as contractors, particularly in construction and engineering, seek certification in order to secure city contracts.
A Living Wage for Everyday Heroes
When the pandemic hit hard in early March, it was those who work in minimum wage jobs, like retail, who lost their jobs as businesses closed and public health initiatives took hold to protect citizens from disease and death.
Low wage workers in healthcare and long-term care found themselves becoming ill and working in dangerous situations. The crisis brought to the general public’s knowledge that many workers were employed in numerous sites, just to make ends meet for themselves and their families. When the province began to re-open, it was low wage workers in the service industry who were putting their lives on the line to keep us safe, fed and entertained.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown for many employers the importance of supporting their staff and their local communities.
Over the next few months, we will be shifting our focus for the Living Wage campaign. We will be looking to grow support amongst union allies, the public and employers about the importance of frontline workers earn a living wage.