OneCity endorsed the Living Wage for Families Campaign today and is calling on the City of Vancouver to become a certified Living Wage employer – and encourage other employers to become certified.
"The City of Vancouver can make a real difference in people’s lives by becoming a Living Wage employer and working with the business community to follow suit," said city council candidate RJ Aquino. "That is why OneCity is endorsing the Living Wage for Families Campaign."
The current living wage rate for metro Vancouver is $20.10/hour, which is the hourly amount a two-parent family needs to cover basic expenses and avoid poverty.
As in New Westminster, becoming a certified Living Wage employer would mean that the City of Vancouver must pay their workers, including contractors and subcontractors working in City facilities, the Living Wage or better. Vancouver should also follow the lead of Burnaby and North Vancouver by adopting a "fair wage" policy for City construction projects, ensuring these worker are paid no less than the prevailing union rate.
Leanne Toderian, president of CUPE Local 15, commented on the importance of the living wage for a strong local economy: "A living wage should include a disposable income – and a healthy wage is good for workers and for the economy."
"OneCity is proposing bold yet practical policy solutions to address the growing divide in Vancouver. City Hall needs to take leadership on the issue of low-wage poverty, as well as skyrocketing housing costs," said Aquino, who will make the announcement at a OneCity community BBQ at Trout Lake at 5pm today. The BBQ is open to the public and will take place from 4:30-7:00, in the picnic shelter area in the southeast corner of the park.
Aquino concluded: "Social inequality must be tackled through robust policies – we want to see Vancouver strengthened through living wage jobs, affordable housing and diversity. Many voices. OneCity."
The official OneCity campaign platform will be released in the coming weeks.