Metro Vancouver families face increasing child care and housing costs
The wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver is virtually unchanged in the past year, however, child care and housing costs are major challenges for many families, a report released today finds.
The living wage is the calculation of the hourly wage that each of two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies are taken into account. The 2017 Metro Vancouver living wage is $20.62 per hour for each parent to meet basic expenses including rent, child care, food and transportation. This is a decrease of only two cents from 2016’s $20.64 per hour.Read more
Change in federal policy lowers living wage for first time despite rising costs
(Vancouver - April 27, 2016) A report released today finds that the wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver is $20.64 per hour. This is the 2016 Metro Vancouver living wage, the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child care, food and transportation), once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account.Read more
How Did the Living Wage Get Started in BC?
History of Living Wage for Families BC
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 Child and Youth Advocacy Society 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 Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, SPARC BC, United Way of the Lower Mainland and the Hospital Employees' Union (HEU). In September 2008, First Call, the CCPA and the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria 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 strategy, and in 2009, funds were raised to hire an organizer employed by First Call. With the guidance and support of the advisory committee members, the Living Wage for Families campaign developed a certification program that, over the following 14 years, certified hundreds of employers who committed to paying their direct staff and many contracted workers a living wage. In the fall of 2022, First Call ended their operation of the certification program and Vancity Community Foundation began operating it.
2010: The Living Wage Employer recognition process was established.
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.
2022: Living Wage for Families BC has certified over 350 employers, impacting over 30,000 direct staff and countless contractors.
2022: Vancity Community Foundation assumes operations of a living wage employer certification program from First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society
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.
City of Vancouver passes motion to become a Living Wage Employer
July 8, 2015
VANCOUVER – The Living Wage for Families Campaign and the Metro Vancouver Alliance congratulate the City of Vancouver for its commitment to become a Living Wage Employer.Read more
The Living Wage for Families Campaign congratulates nine businesses as new certified Living Wage Employers
July 3, 2015
VANCOUVER – Nine employers were certified as Living Wage Employers yesterday by the Living Wage for Families Campaign.
“Eight of the nine certified employers have fewer than 50 employees,” observes Deanna Ogle, the campaign organizer with the Living Wage for Families Campaign. “This demonstrates the strong commitment and contribution of small businesses to the economic health of local communities.”Read more
Living wage rises again in 2015; federal policies leave families struggling to cover basics
April 29, 2015
VANCOUVER – A report released today finds that the wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver is $20.68 per hour.Read more