Living Wage and the B.C. Election Campaign

The Living Wage for Families Campaign has written to all four provincial parties asking for consideration of the following actions:: as part of a comprehensive Poverty Reduction Plan for BC:

1. Establish a Living Wage Unit. This unit would calculate – on an annual basis – the living wage  for every community/region in the province. The unit would be guided by an advisory board of  experts, community organizations, labour and business, and would promote the benefits of establishing a living wage throughout the province while encouraging employers to adopt their region’s living wage in all communities where they operate.

2. Establish and implement a pilot living wage policy in a relevant provincial government ministry or agency The living wage policy would apply to all ministry/agency employees (full-time, part-time and casual) and all service providers and contract staff, similar to current living wage policies at the local level After implementation, the above pilot project would be reviewed with a view to extending it to all provincial government ministries and agencies.

3. Place a moratorium on all future contracting out of provincially-funded services that result in employees receiving less than the living wage in their region..

4. Explore public policy interventions that reduce families’ living expenses. Reducing family living  expenses helps reduce the living wage rate and makes the living wage rate in their region more affordable for businesses..

To date, B.C.’s NDP and the Green parties have expressed interest in hearing more about these proposed actions,  but no party has made a firm commitment to any one of them.

For more on all issues relating to children and youth in relation to B.C.’s  forthcoming election:  First Call’s 2013 Online Election Toolkit.