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Sustainable and inclusive communities creating their own social, economic and environmental futures.

Community Social Planning Council

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Living Wage and Living Wage Employers Program

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2016 Living Wage for Greater Victoria is $20.02/hour.

 

Media Release
April 27, 2016

For the first time in 7 years the Living Wage has decreased (marginally).

(Victoria) The Living Wage for 2016 of $20.02/hour is a $0.03 decrease from the 2015 Living Wage. The decrease is partially due to the introduction of the Canada Child Benefit (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/menu-eng.html#CCB) and partially by the increase of the maximum amount parents can claim for child care expenses federally. While this decrease shows the power of policy in lowering living costs for families, the Living Wage for the capital region still demonstrates that the cost of living continues to be high and that families feel like they are not getting ahead. Approximately 16% of children in the capital region live in families experiencing poverty. 

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 2016, the wage required to maintain an adequate quality of life in BC’s Capital Region is calculated at $20.02 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. Thirty-seven communities across the country, including 18 in BC, have calculated their local living wages and are campaigning to improve quality of life for low-wage workers. 

About the InitiativeLW Employer Certification link

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

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.

The Living Wage Employer Program locally is currently overseen by an advisory committee made-up of members of the local labour movement (CLC and Victoria Labour Council), Victoria City Council, and the UVIC Law Faculty. 

For more information or to apply for certification, please contact Marika Albert at 250-383-6166 ext 107 or marika@communitycouncil.ca.

 

News and Resources

2016 Living Wage Update for BC’s Capital Region

Previous Reports: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006

Media on the 2015 release

Times Colonist article by Sarah Petrescu
Housing, child care increase ‘living wage’ to $20 an hour
April 29, 2015 - Click here to read the article.

C-FAX 1070 with Al Ferraby
April 29, 2015  - Rupert Downing on the morning show
Listen here. MP3 fast forward 20 minutes
 
C-FAX 1070 with Frank Stanford
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
 
CBC Vancouver Island - All Points West with Robyn Burns
April 29, 2015  - Rupert Downing on calculating the cost of living
Listen here
 
CTV News at 6 with Andrew Johnson
April 29, 2015  - Living Wage nearly double minimum, report by Stephanie Sherlock
Watch here
 
C-FAX 1070 with Terry Moore
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
 
Victoria News article by Kevin Laird
Comprehensive plan needed to help working poor: Victoria MP
April 30, 2015 - Click here to read the article.
 
 
 

Victoria News
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.

Times Colonist article by Sarah Petrescu
Living wage’ rises in Victoria making life here less affordable
April 29, 2014 - Click here to read the article.

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.

 

Other Resources

Living Wage for Families website

Living Wage Calculator *COOL TOOL

Living Wage Employers website (Certification Program)

Report: Working for a Living Wage - Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Vancouver and Victoria (2008)

Report: The Calculation of a Living Wage for the Capital Regional District of B.C. (2006)

 

Other Regions

2013 Living Wage for Vancouver

2013 Living Wage for Abbotsford

 

Funding for this initiative generously provided by:

Vancity Logo Catherine Donnelly Foundation