Living Wage and Living Wage Employers Program
2018 Living Wage for Greater Victoria is $20.50/hour.
April 25, 2018
Soaring housing costs causing living wage to increase in Greater Victoria
(Greater Victoria) The cost of raising a family in British Columbia increased from 2017 to 2018. And if it hadn’t been for reductions in Medical Service Plan premiums and child care costs, the increase would have been higher, says the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, in its 2018 Living Wage report released today.
What is the Living Wage?
The Living Wage Rate reflects the real costs of living through the hourly wage required to enjoy an adequate quality of life in our region. The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria calculates and releases this number each year, based on the best data available about costs in our region.
In 2018, the wage required to maintain an adequate quality of life in BC’s Capital Region is calculated at $20.50 per hour.
When we look behind the number to see the costs that drive that required wage rate, we have an opportunity to engage our community in dialogue around strategies to prevent and reduce poverty. Our region’s affordability, especially the high costs of housing, childcare, and health care, affects our ability to sustain a healthy and vibrant economy and community.
Working poverty is a Canada-wide issue. Over 50 communities across the country, including 21 in BC, have active living wage campaigns and are advocating to improve quality of life for low-wage workers.
BC has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. With a high cost of living, far too many British Columbians find it difficult to make ends meet. Many households must make tough choices every month about their household spending priorities – pay the heating bill or buy new shoes for the kids, buy groceries or pay the rent. British Columbia now has the second highest child poverty rate in the country with low wages as one of the key contributors to child poverty in BC. The number of households facing an affordability challenge in the Capital Region continues to rise.
The Living Wage, calculated and released each year by the Community Social Planning Council, reflects the real costs of living through the hourly wage required to enjoy an adequate quality of life in our region. When we look behind the number to see the costs that drive that required wage up or down, we have an opportunity to engage our community in dialogue around strategies to prevent and reduce poverty. Our region’s affordability, especially the high costs of housing, childcare, and transportation, affects our ability to attract and retain staff and sustain a healthy and vibrant economy and community.
Living Wage Employer Certification
Over 110 companies and organizations across BC, employing more than 18,000 workers and covering many thousands more contracted service workers, have been certified as Living Wage Employers.
The Living Wage Employer Program in the Capital Region works to raise awareness around the cost of living in the Capital Region, and to work with employers to become certified living wage employers. The program is an initiative of the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC) in partnership with FirstCall BC and the Living Wage for Families Campaign.
The role of the CSPC is to conduct outreach activities to inform employers in the Capital Region of the program and how they can become living wage employers. The outreach activities also include public education on the purpose of a living wage in general and what living wage employers can do to support their employees facing rising costs of living.
The role of the Living Wage for Families Campaign is to assess and certify ‘Living Wage Employers’ that commit to pay all their staff and contracted service workers a locally calculated living wage.
For more information or to apply for certification, please contact Stefanie Hardman at 250-383-6166 ext 111 or.
News and Resources
Media coverage of the 2018 Living Wage release:
Media on past releases:
April 29, 2015 - Rupert Downing on the morning show
Listen here. MP3 fast forward 20 minutes
April 29, 2015 - Rupert Downing discusses the 2015 Living Wage calculation which topped $20 per hour for the first time.
Listen here. MP3 fast forward 34 minutes
April 29, 2015 - Rupert Downing on calculating the cost of living
April 29, 2015 - Living Wage nearly double minimum, report by Stephanie Sherlock
April 29, 2015 - Dr. Michael Prince UVic Professor of Social Policy and Stephen Portman, TAPS executive director on the Living Wage and public policy
Listen here. MP3 fast forward 37 minutes
Comprehensive plan needed to help working poor: Victoria MP
April 30, 2015 - Click here to read the article.
Greater Victoria 'living wage' rises in 2014
April 29, 2014 - Click here to read the article.
CBC All Points West with Joann Roberts
April 29, 2014 - What is a Living Wage in Victoria? Rupert Downing speaks with Joann Roberts.
C-FAX 1070 Morning Show with Al Ferraby
April 29, 2014 - Rupert Downing briefly discusses the announcement of the 2014 living wage for Greater Victoria on Mornings with Al Ferraby.
CHEK TV - Living wage - how much does it take to live above the poverty line? Stacy Ross has a look.
April 29, 2014 - Click here to watch the segment.
Living Wage Calculator *COOL TOOL
Living Wage Employers website (Certification Program)
Funding for this initiative generously provided by: