We’ve always believed that work should be a pathway out of poverty, not a perpetuator of it.
Despite being a wealthy province, BC has the highest rate of working poverty in Canada. This means that a significant number of people who work and pay taxes do not earn enough income to meet their basic needs.
Our work first emerged in 2006, with the recognition that many children below the poverty line were living in homes where at least one parent was working full-time, year-round.
We began with the development of a living wage calculation – the hourly amount that a worker must earn to meet their basic expenses and avoid working poverty.
Since then, our efforts have expanded to encompass awareness building, advocacy and Living Wage Employer certification. We take pride in certifying hundreds of employers who commit to paying their direct staff, as well as contracted workers, a living wage.
In recent years, the combined impact of rising costs of living across the province, with limited adjustments in wages and the precarity of employment means that low-wage workers are still living in poverty – working poverty.
Our vision is a province where every worker can thrive. A living wage is the gateway between surviving and thriving. It is a modest budget, that allows workers to overcome severe financial stress, move beyond working poverty and participate in the social, civic and cultural aspects of life.
We know we need to create the conditions for workers to earn a Living Wage. The living wage has increased dramatically in recent years because of the increased cost of essentials like food and rent. We are expanding our work to look at all of the conditions that affect workers earning a Living Wage.
We recognize our unique role as a convenor and catalyst. We can collaborate with workers, employers, unions, and governments, we will leverage our tools and collective strengths to advance our mission.