LIVING WAGE CALCULATION SHOWS THE REAL COSTS OF RAISING A FAMILY IN THE FRASER VALLEY
ABBOTSFORD, B.C., May 2nd, 2013 – For families with young children, the costs of basic necessities like food, rent and childcare quickly add up. Even with full-time work year round, both parents in a family of four must earn at least $16.37 to escape severe financial stress in the Fraser Valley.
This is the Fraser Valley living wage rate for 2013, according to a new report released by Living Wage Fraser Valley and Vibrant Abbotsford.
The living wage is calculated as the hourly rate at which a family with two full-time earners and two young children can meet its basic needs, once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account.
“The living wage should not be confused with the minimum wage, which is the legislated minimum set by the provincial government,” explains Iglika Ivanova of the CCPA. “The living wage calls on employers to pay wages that reflect the actual costs of living in their communities and that are high enough to provide a basic level of economic security to families with children. Families working full-time deserve to earn a living that’s more than a constant struggle to get by. By paying the living wage to both their direct staff and their service contractors, employers enable more families to escape chronic financial stress and will help reduce the disturbingly high level of child poverty in BC.”
Low wages is one of the key contributions to child poverty in BC with almost half of poor children (43%) living in families where at least one adult had a full-time, full-year job and many others lived in families with some paid work (part-year or part-time).
Living Wage Employers recognize that paying a living wage constitutes a critical investment in the long– term prosperity of the economy by fostering a dedicated, skilled and healthy workforce.
Public policy decisions can also greatly affect affordability and quality of life for lower-earning families and decrease the amount employees need to earn privately. For example, implementation of the $10/Day Child Care plan proposed by the Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC, would reduce the Fraser Valley living wage by an estimated $3 per hour to $13.37.
Living Wage Fraser Valley (LWFV) is a multi-sectoral group that reduces poverty by raising community awareness, influencing local policy and recognizing local living wage employers. Through a new partnership with Living Wage for Families’ Employer Recognition Process, LWFV is now equipped to formally certify local employers who pay their direct and contract employers a Living Wage.