United Way Southern Vancouver Island has become a certified Living Wage Employer!
United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) has committed to pay their staff and contracted workers a living wage by certifying as a Living Wage Employer. We're so excited to have them join our mission! Find out more about United Way here.
United Way is a federated network of 69 local offices serving over 5,000 communities across Canada. Their goal is to create better opportunities for a better life for everyone within the community. For United Way Southern Vancouver Island, their focus for the last few years has been on homelessness, food insecurity, and job loss. In 2022, UWSVI identified four areas of action for their annual campaign, in which individuals were encouraged to direct donations to those in their community who need it the most. The four areas were Seniors; Families; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Support for Indigenous Communities; and Mental Health & Addictions. UWSVI believes everyone in the region it serves (the communities of Southern Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, all located in the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples), should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Last year, almost one in six people in their region, or 63,000 individuals, were helped by a UWSVI initiative or funded program.
“We’re delighted that United Way Southern Vancouver Island has become a Living Wage Employer. We hope it encourages other employers to join the Living Wage movement. Paying a living wage is good for workers, employers and the local community” said Anastasia French, Living Wage for Families BC.
By joining the Living Wage for Families BC Campaign, UWSVI has committed to providing their employees, workers, and contractors a living wage of $24.29 in Victoria. The living wage is the hourly amount a family needs to cover basic expenses. The calculation is based off of a two-parent household with two children – the most common family unit in BC – with each parent working full-time. With that being said, the living wage is not exclusive to a family of four. We recognize the difference in costs that a single parent household, a single individual household, and a part-time worker has. We hope to expand our calculations and research soon to be able to bring forth these factors that comprise the BC population.
“This year, our local United Way celebrates 85 years of building strong and inclusive communities - neighbourhood by neighbourhood and generation after generation. Being a certified Living Wage Employer highlights our commitment to investing in the long-term prosperity of Southern Vancouver Island while reducing the impact of poverty on families and individuals in our region. As advocates for equity and social inclusion, we will continue to work to improve local systems and policies and invite others to join us in helping every person in our community realize a life of opportunity.” Erika Stenson (she/her), Executive Director, United Way Southern Vancouver Island.
Over the past two years, the number of Living Wage Employers in BC has more than doubled – there are now nearly 400 Living Wage Employers in BC.
Employers have found paying a living wage to be a key tool in their post-Covid economic recovery. 97% of Living Wage Employers in BC have found some benefit to being part of the program.
Certifying as a Living Wage Employer is a voluntary commitment employers make to invest in their communities and local economies.
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