“Living Wage” Event @ Library Squrare, November 5, 12.30 p.m.

Dear CUPE 391 members

Please join Seth Klein, member of the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives, Deborah Littman from HEU, and Adrienne Montani from First Call 12:30 pm, on Wednesday, Nov 5th at the South plaza of Library Square for a media event/press conference as they speak about the research and necessity of making Vancouver a Living Wage city.

David Cadman, Ellen Woodsworth, along with School and Park board candidates, and possibly some Vision Candidates, will announce their intention to make Vancouver a Living Wage City.

Question: What is a living wage? Is it the same as a minimum wage?

This new study was created by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and First Call who collaborated with policy experts and focus groups.  The study calls for major public and private sector employers to pay a living wage that would lift low-income families out of poverty and severe financial stress. A living wage allows lower-income families to avoid having to make impossible choices, such as whether to buy food or heat the house, feed the children or pay the rent.

Question: What is the living wage for this city? How was it determined?
The living wage calculation includes basic expenses for a two-earner family with two young children (such as housing, childcare, food and transportation), and government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies. It finds that each parent would need to work full-time at an hourly wage of $16.74 in Metro Vancouver and $16.39 in Greater Victoria in order to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children and participate in the social and civil life of their communities.

A living wage is not the same as a minimum wage, and is, instead, the hourly wage deemed sufficient for an average family to meet all of their basic needs while living in a particular region.

CUPE 391 needs to participate in this discussion.  With the introduction of the lower paid “shelver” position, our employer has joined the ranks of the those who do not examine what their employees need to earn in order to have a decent quality of life, not merely to survive.

But this is fixable. Come to the South concourse Wednesday November 5th and find out how you can help support this cause which has roots in your immediate community.