Living wage calculated at $17.02 for the Fraser Valley

Based on what a family of four needs to 'maintain a decent standard of living.'

This chart shows how a 'living wage' of $17.02 each for the parents in a family of four can cover monthly expenses totalling about $4

Each parent in a family of four needs to make $17.02 an hour in order to obtain basic needs and “maintain a decent standard of living,” says a local group.

Living Wage Fraser Valley (LWFV), hosted by Vibrant Abbotsford, has calculated the “living wage” for the area from Abbotsford to Hope/Boston Bar, including Mission.

The figure was released yesterday.

A living wage is calculated based on a budget for a healthy family of four with two children aged four and seven, and each parent working 35 hours a week for 52 weeks a year.

It takes into account basic expenses such as food, housing, childcare, clothing and transportation, once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been factored in.

The living wage does not consider home ownership, debt, holidays, saving for retirement or a child’s education, or caring for a disabled, ill or elderly family member.

This year’s calculation is up four per cent from the 2013 figure of $16.37.

Vibrant Abbotsford coordinator Alison Homer said the hike takes into account inflation, increased child care rates, and higher tuition fees and Medical Service Plan costs.

Homer said the calculation is released yearly to demonstrate how the real costs of living are changing in communities.

“This year, the trend continues that costs of living are rising faster than inflation, and that wages are not following suit,” she said.

“It is progressively harder each year for families to make ends meet, with families having to spend $156 more each month than they did two years ago.”

She said the living wage is based on the premise that people who work full-time should never have to live in poverty.

Homer said it’s important for communities to support a living wage because it results in citizens having to rely less on social programs and having more disposable income to invest locally.

Employers benefit by higher employee loyalty and productivity, and decreased turnover and training/hiring costs, she said.

Homer said 28 per cent of families with two children fall below the living wage threshold, and one out of three poor children live in families where at least one adult has a full-time job.

Businesses can become certified “living wage employers.” Currently, Vancity is the only such employer in the Fraser Valley, although Homer says there are many other businesses who also pay a living wage.

Catherine Ludgate, Vancity manager of community investment, said the company, which has 56 branches and 2,600 employees in B.C., began in 2010 ensuring that all its employees and people it contracts – for services such as security and janitorial – receive the living wage.

She said employee engagement and morale “went up considerably,” there has been less staff turnover, and employees have been happier and more productive.

“Paying a living wage is just the right thing to do,” she said.

For more information, visit vibrantabbotsford.ca/projects/living-wage/

Monthly living wage budget for a family of four in the Fraser Valley

Total monthly expenses of $4,871.31 are broken down as follows:

• $1,134.20 for childcare

• $1,066.65 for shelter

• $742.14 for food

• $706.46 for other household expenses (personal care, furniture, school supplies and minimal recreation)

• $445.85 for transportation

• $198.57 for two weeks’ pay (to cover emergency sickness)

• $194.81 for clothing and footwear

• $136 for private medical insurance premiums

• $138.50 for government medical services plan

• $108.13 for parent education (two local college courses per year)

 

 

Just Posted

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read