(Vancouver) – The Vancouver School Board is now the largest school district in British Columbia to obtain an official Living Wage certification.
“We understand that living in Vancouver can be financially challenging and we are committed to ensuring staff and contractors earn a living wage” says Board Chair Janet Fraser. “Compensating staff with at least the living wage threshold is taking action to help families survive and flourish in Vancouver.”
The Board first made plans to become a certified Living Wage employer in 2015. While the District was essentially a Living Wage Employer prior to official certification, this new status ensures that vendors who provide services to the District also provide their employees (including employees of subcontractors) with a living wage.
The current living wage rate for Metro Vancouver is $20.52. This rate is calculated based on a two-adult family with two children, and each adult working full-time. The rate considers basic expenses like rent, childcare, food and transportation. B.C.’s minimum wage is currently $15.65 an hour, almost $5 less than the living wage.
The Living Wage program is an awareness and poverty reduction strategy led by the non-profit, First Call BC. “We are delighted that Vancouver School Board has become a Living Wage Employer,” says First Call BC executive director, Adrienne Montani. “Some underprivileged children grow up in households where both parents work full time. Employers who pay at or above the living wage are contributing to reducing child and family poverty and supporting healthy communities. Work should lift you out of poverty, not keep you there.”
Administrative Procedures 400 and 515 have been updated to reflect the Vancouver School Board’s status as a living wage employer.