The following letter was addressed to municipal governments and shared with Coast Reporter.
Recently, Sunshine Coast Labour Council received a presentation by Living Wage for Families BC that we would like to share with the council.
The living wage on the Sunshine Coast is now astonishingly high at $24.30 an hour, which is a 22.8 percent increase ($4.51) from last year, when a full report was published by the Sunshine Coast Foundation. This is $7.55 higher than minimum wage in B.C. ($16.75), and one of the highest living wage rates in the province.
The rapidly rising costs of food and shelter has increased the living wage in all communities across B.C. significantly.
A living wage strengthens families and communities by ensuring working families can enjoy basic economic security, participate fully in civic life and lift children from poverty. There are nearly 400 living wage employers across B.C., including the municipalities of Quesnel, Burnaby, and Victoria. Ninety seven per cent of Living Wage Employers across B.C. have benefited from being part of the program – they have found that paying a living wage increases morale, lowers staff turnover and increases recruitment and retention of staff.
SCLC would like the council to consider adapting a living wage policy to pay forward to our community. We would welcome the opportunity to present to council the findings from Living Wage for Families research, and to encourage council to pass a motion to direct staff to study the impact of becoming a living wage employer.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Miyuki Shinkai, Sunshine Coast Labour Council