Eleven employers across BC recently received certification as Living Wage Employers.
The newest Living Wage Employers are Aplus Cleaning, Artee Screen Printing, Aspire Professional Corporation, Cascadia Innovative Ventures, Community Futures Central Kootenay, Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island, Hakai Energy Solutions, Jillian Harris Design, Para Space Landscaping, Squamish Nation and West Coast Building Restoration Inc.
What is a Living Wage?
A Living Wage Employer is one that pays their regional living wage to their staff and contractors, and that is certified by the Living Wage for Families Campaign. Becoming a Living Wage Employer is a voluntary commitment that employers of all types can make, including private businesses, local governments, non-profit organizations, and more.
Each year, the Living Wage for Families Campaign works with community partners across the province to calculate local living wages. The living wage is the hourly amount a family needs to cover basic expenses. The calculation is based on a two-parent family with two children – the most common family unit in BC – with each parent working full-time.
The benefits of paying a living wage
The new employers have found a variety of benefits in paying their staff a living wage:
“Paying a living wage is part of how we as a company ensure our employees are able to grow as people both in and out of work.”
Keith, Aplus Clean
“I feel very strongly about maintaining a sense of community, and being able to pay a living wage plays a small role in helping build up communities. Everyone should be paid as fairly and equally as possible.”
Diana, Artee Screen printing
“I believe in taking care of my employees and their families; it's one meaningful way I can show my employee's appreciation for taking care of our clients and for their contributions to the practice”.
Kyla, Aspire Professional Corporation
A Living Wage is more important than ever
The current crisis is shining a light on the heightened vulnerabilities of low wage workers and others in precarious employment, as well as highlighting the crucial role they play in the safety and well-being of our families and communities.
“The COVID-19 crisis has shone a spotlight on the vital work being done by low wage workers. The case has never been stronger for paying living wages to all workers.
However, we recognise that that many employers are experiencing challenges and uncertainties because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for those employers who have stepped up at this time, to pay all their staff a living wage”
Anastasia French, Living Wage for Families Campaigns Organiser.