September 21, 2016 (Vancouver, BC) – Council has approved pursuing Living Wage Employer certification for all City of Vancouver employees and sub-contractors to be compensated at or above Metro Vancouver’s living wage rate of $20.64 per hour, including direct salary and certain benefits.Read more
The City of Parksville became the fourth municipality in BC to pass a living wage policy on June 6, 2016.Read more
Living Wage for Families Campaign
322 – 312 Main St, Vancouver BC, V6A 2T2
Tel: 604-975-3347 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Living Wage for Families Campaign’s office is co-located with the Vancity Community Foundation, who host our charitable activities.
To keep in touch, subscribe to our mailing list.
For media inquiries, you can find more information here.
Learn more about our staff and steering committee here.
Our office is located on the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations. As a provincial organization, we work on First Nations land including Treaty 8 land, modern day treaty lands, and unceded land across the province.
In 2006 Campaign 2000 initiated a two-year project called Addressing the Falling Fortunes of Young Children and their Families: A Community Building Approach. First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition was the Vancouver partner for this project. This came out of their work on child poverty and recognizing how many poor children were living in homes where at least one parent was working full-time, full-year.
In spring 2007 First Call co-sponsored a research project with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) to calculate living-wage baselines for Vancouver and Victoria. This joint research group included representatives from the University of BC's sociology department and Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), the Victoria Social Planning Council, United Way of the Lower Mainland and BC’s Hospital Employees' Union (HEU). In September 2008, First Call and the CCPA released their research report Working for a Living Wage.
The Hospital Employees' Union launched its Living Wage Campaign in 2007 in part to address the poverty wages and unsafe working conditions for health care workers employed by multinational corporations that had secured multimillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded contracts to provide services in BC hospitals and long-term care homes.
In fall 2008 First Call, the CCPA-BC and HEU established a living wage advisory committee to oversee campaign strategy, and in 2009 funds were raised for a campaign organizer.
2010: The Living Wage Employer recognition process was established. More than 50 employers signed up as Living Wage Employers employing over 6,300 direct staff and hundreds more contracted workers.
2011: The City of New Westminster became the first municipality to certify as a Living Wage Employer.
2011: Vancity Credit Union signed on as a Living Wage Employer.
2011: The BC Federation of Labour and Canadian Labour Congress conventions endorsed living wage campaigns by unions and labour councils and encouraged the support of the Living Wage for Families Campaign.
2015: Huu-ay-aht First Nation became the first First Nations government to become a Living Wage Employer.
2015: School District 69 - Qualicum became the first Board of Education in BC to certify as a Living Wage Employer.
2016: The City of Port Coquitlam became a certified Living Wage Employer.
2017: The City of Vancouver became a certified Living Wage Employer.
2020: The cities of Victoria and Burnaby became certified Living Wage Employers. The Living Wage for Families Campaign has certified over 180 employers, impacting over 25,000 direct staff and countless contractors.
Why we started this campaign
Watch this 30-minute video featuring Seth Klein of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-BC to find out the reason we focus on the family of four, the relationship between the living wage and public policy, and the way the calculation was established.
Together we can make an impact
Join the 180+ Living Wage Employers across BC in addressing poverty in your community.
If you have any questions about the process, don’t hesitate to be in touch by phone (604-975-3347) or email (email@example.com).
The living wage is a regional calculation that looks at the amount that a family of four, two adults working full year, full time, need to earn to meet their expenses. The living wage allows working families to support the healthy development of their children and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of their communities.
A living wage employer pays all direct and contract staff the living wage rate for their region.
Step 1: Determine the living wage in your region
You can see a map of the BC communities that have calculated a living wage rate. If you don’t see your community listed on the map or if you have any questions email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help!
To calculate the living wage rate for each employer we take into account their employees’ total compensation package (wage + benefits). If employees receive non-mandatory benefits like extended health benefits, the living wage rate is reduced to take this into account. See our benefits calculator for details.
Step 2: Make a plan
A clear plan is essential. Our Guide to Becoming a Living Wage Employer provides information on the criteria for certification and other information employers need to know.
- If you are a small employer with under 20 staff and/or a less complex organizational structure, you may fill out an application form rather than complete an implementation plan. Download the application form for small employers here.
- If you are a large employer (20 or more staff and/or more complex organizational structure), you will need to draft an implementation plan. Refer to the Employers Guide for more information.
We have also prepared resources for employers of various sizes, sectors, and industries. Browse these here.
Please contact us to answer any questions you might have. All conversations are confidential and we won’t rush you through the process.
Step 3: Apply for certification
Once you have submitted your living wage application form or implementation plan, it will be reviewed by a committee of employers. This committee will approve your plan or ask for more information to strengthen your application. This process is to help you have as strong an implementation plan as possible.
- Living Wage Employers pay all direct and contract staff the living wage rate for their region.
- Living Wage Employers recognize that paying a living wage is an investment in the long-term prosperity of the economy.
- We all have a role to play in ending poverty. The minimum wage is a government response to address working poverty. The living wage is an employer’s opportunity to address the same problem.
Paying a living wage
The living wage is a bare-bones calculation that looks at the amount that a family of four needs to earn to meet their expenses. The living wage includes costs like rent and groceries as well as items like extended health care and two weeks savings for each adult. It does not include debt repayment or savings for future plans.
To calculate the living wage rate, employers take into account their employees’ total wage plus benefits. If employees receive non-mandatory benefits, the living wage rate is reduced. See our benefits calculator for details.
Learn more about becoming a Living Wage Employer.
What are the benefits of a living wage?
Good for employers
Employers have found that implementing a living wage has increased their employee recruitment and retention. Vancity saw that the most significant impact was the swelling of pride in all staff after implementing a living wage. Staff at Living Wage Employers are proud to contribute to a company that ensures that no one is left behind.
"A living wage supports our organization's mission to promote equality, fairness and social inclusion." - BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Good for our community
We all pay for poverty in our communities. We pay in increased use of emergency health services when individuals aren’t able to afford to fill prescriptions. Our education system is stretched when parents aren’t able to support their children’s education because they are working multiple jobs. Investing in a living wage is investing in the health of our communities.
Good for the economy
When low-wage workers see an increase in their wages they spend their money locally. A living wage allows families to participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of their communities. They support local business and participate in community events. We all benefit when we reduce poverty in our communities.
A Living Wage Employer is a responsible employer who cares about their employees and the community. Join the 180+ certified Living Wage Employers across BC in addressing poverty.
It has been an incredibly busy year for the Living Wage for Families Campaign. We thank all our supporters and employers who have helped grow the living wage movement and reduce low-wage poverty across BC.Read more