New living wage calculations released in Lower Mainland and Victoria

Today, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and A Living Wage for Families announced the 2013 calculations for living wages in Metro Vancouver ($19.62), Greater Victoria ($18.73) and the Fraser Valley ($16.37). 

Different from the government-regulated minimum wage, the living wage is calculated as the hourly rate which a family of four – two full-time working adults with two young children – needs to meet basic monthly expenses (including housing, food, child care and transportation). This calculation takes into account government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies, along with increases to MSP premiums. 

The CCPA and A Living Wage for Families campaign attribute rising costs for child care, transportation and food for the 48 cent increase in the 2013 living wage calculation (Metro Vancouver).

According to their report Working for a Living Wage 2013, transportation costs rose by $28, while child care costs increased by $25 and food prices by $17 to the family’s monthly expenditures. 

B.C. has one of the worst child poverty rates in Canada, and researchers blame low wages as a key factor. Forty-three per cent of children in poverty live in a home with at least one adult working full-time, and many others live with families working one or more part-time jobs. 

HEU was a pioneer in launching the Living Wage Campaign in 2007 as a bargaining initiative to show multinational corporations who had taken over support services at health care sites, mainly in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, how poverty-level wages impact workers, their families and communities.

Media coverage: