City of Vancouver's vote to explore a 3 year rolling average of the Living Wage

Following the vote of City of Vancouver Council to not recertify as a Living Wage Employer and instead explore a 3 year rolling average of the Living Wage, Anastasia French, Provincial Manager of Living Wage for Families BC issued the following statement:

“It is disappointing that the City of Vancouver have note voted today to recertify as a Living Wage Employer. It’s vital that anyone working on behalf of the City of Vancouver can afford to live in Vancouver.

While a 3 year rolling average of the living wage is slightly better for workers than a 5 year rolling average, using any kind of average ignores the reason why the Living Wage exists. The Living Wage reflects how much you need to earn right now to pay for basic essentials. Workers across the city are struggling to pay for the current cost of essentials, not the cost of rent or food averaged out from 3 or 5 years ago.

This decision means that hundreds of city workers and contractors – doing vital work like cleaning, stacking shelves in the library and, keeping us safe as security guards - are still not guaranteed an income that means they can pay for rent, food, and other essentials.

To argue that paying a lower “fair wage” creates more stability for workers in unstable times is simply not true. Unfortunately, we’re living in uncertain times, and the best thing to help a worker through that uncertainty, is for them to know that their employer, their city, has their back, and when rent costs and food costs go up, so will their wages. While it is unlikely that the Living Wage will be going down soon, if it ever goes down, we never ask employers to cut the pay of their staff.

We’re grateful for the hundreds of employers across BC, including every other Living Wage municipality, that have committed to pay their staff the actual Living Wage. These employers have found that paying the living wage is good for workers, good for business and good for the local community. It would not be fair to those employers or workers if we were to create a two-tier system that would reward an employer for paying less than the Living Wage

We want to keep working with staff and Councillors from the City of Vancouver to promote the value and importance of paying the Living Wage, so that hopefully one day the City will be a Living Wage Employer again" said Anastasia French

The Living Wage is the hourly wage that two adults working full-time need to earn to support the basic expenses of a family of four. It is a barebones calculation that does not include debt repayment or savings for retirement. 

  Hourly wage
Gap between living and rolling averages
Annual difference for a full-time worker
Living Wage for Metro Vancouver $25.68 $0 $0
3 year rolling average $23.42 $2.26 $4,113
5 year rolling average $21.84 $3.84 $6,988

Certifying as a Living Wage Employer is a voluntary commitment employers make to invest in their communities and local economies. Organizations can certify as a Living Wage Employer if they commit to ensuring their direct staff and contracted workers earn a Living Wage. The living wage can be made up of base wage and other benefits they offer.

About Living Wage for Families BC:
Living Wage for Families BC certifies employers that pay a living wage to their staff and contractors. They also advocate for complementary government policies that would help families make ends meet and work with CCPA-BC to annually calculate the Living Wage for communities across BC.

Living Wage for Families BC is a program of Vancity Community Foundation.


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  • Anastasia French
    published this page in Blog 2024-02-28 13:44:20 -0800