Posted by: healingtheworkplace | August 15, 2010

Become a Living Wage Employer

“Work should lift you out of poverty, not keep you there.”

For many people a healthy workplace is one that focuses on health and wellness, protecting people from bullying, reducing stress and helping people deal effectively with change.  In fact a healthy workplace is also a place where people earn enough money to be able to pay for the necessities in life and to be able to live with respect.

Do you earn a “living wage”? Hopefully you do although that is not the case for the majority of people in the world.  

 According to Wikkipedia a living wage is “the minimum hourly wage necessary for shelter (housing), clothing and other basic needs.”  Of course this amount will vary depending on where you live and how much the cost of living is.

In Metro Vancouver the minimum hourly rate to be able to pay for those things is $18.17 an hour which is well above the province’s MINIMUM wage of $8.00 an hour.

It appears that this concept is getting some traction in British Columbia, where I live.  In April of this year the city council in New Westminster voted in favor of, and they were unanimous in this, a living wage by-law.  The City of New Westminster is the first city in Canada to become a living wage employer.

Recently, Business in Vancouver published an article entitled: Putting the Union into Credit Union. Along with a history of credit unions in B.C. and how credit unions benefit all of their stakeholders, the author also touched on the subject of living wages.   

Credit unions are cooperatives and as such are owned by their members.  It is for this reason that credit unions have had always been community minded: seeking opportunities to help give back to the communities in which they are located.

On June 14, 2010 the Community Savings credit union became the first financial institution in B.C. to sign up as a Living Wage Employer.

For more information on what’s involved in becoming a Living Wage Employer check out www.livingwageforfamilies.ca

 Cheers, Lesley

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