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Contractors the winners in new City of Vancouver living wage policy

City of Vancouver workers at Granville Island (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130, Photo)
Summary

The living wage is the hourly rate required for two working adults to meet the basic needs of a family of four

The new policy guarantees a baseline $20.62 an hour for City of Vancouver employees

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The City of Vancouver has been certified as a living wage employer, which is particularly good news for the city’s contractors.

The living wage is the hourly rate required for two working adults to meet the basic needs of a family of four. It is calculated annually by the Living Wage for Families Campaign, and is based on regional cost of living.

For existing City workers, the move is largely symbolic. All staff are already making at least the baseline $20.62 an hour that the new policy will guarantee.

The real winners are contractors who are making less than that figure and will get a raise when their deals expire.

“That’s a piece that we need to address. Making sure that incomes are raising at time when minimum wage is not meeting the needs. We’ve seen some improvements provincially on the minimum wage, but it still falls short of a living wage,” says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“This… is about the living wage and making sure the City walks the talk and delivers on the living wage to everyone who’s employed and contracted by the City of Vancouver. We need to set that example in the community.”

The deal will cost Vancouver taxpayers $600,000 a year.