Living wage

On May 24, 2011 we set a precedent and became the largest organization in Canada to become a Living Wage Employer. Our focus has always been making an impact in the communities we serve and helping our members achieve financial success. Becoming a Living Wage Employer was a natural fit for us and is very much aligned with our values of building wealth in the communities where we live and work.

What is a living wage?

A living wage is different from the minimum wage; it is calculated as the hourly rate required for a family with two children in which both parents work full-time to meet their basic needs. The current minimum wage in BC is $10.25/hour and in Metro Vancouver a Living Wage is $19.62/hour. Families who work for low wages often have to face impossible choices: buy food or heat the house, feed the children or pay the rent.

The importance of living wage

"Paying a living wage to our employees and service providers will help make families stronger and communities healthier," said Tamara Vrooman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We want to be part of a community that invests in the long-term prosperity of individuals and the economy."

The majority of BC's poor children live in families with income from paid work and more than one third of these families have at least one adult working full-time. A living wage helps pull families out of severe financial stress and provides a basic level of security, though it leaves little room for the extras many of us enjoy every day. It is also important to know that even though a living wage provides for the basic needs in life, it does not allow a family to save for their retirement, education, holidays, emergencies, debt servicing, or RESPs.

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