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City of Vancouver now a certified Living Wage employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

This is the City of Vancouver's June 8, 2017 news post on its website:

The City, Park Board, and Vancouver Police Department have taken steps to reduce inequality by becoming living wage employers, certified by the Living Wage for Families Campaign External website (LWFC), a Vancouver-based organization that has certified a range of employers.

Our living wage certification includes the City of Vancouver and Park Board staff and vendors.

The Vancouver Police Department submitted a separate application that was also approved at the same time.

The City of Vancouver joins several local governments in BC who have successfully implemented living wage policies:

  • Ucluelet First Nation
  • Huu-ay-aht First Nations
  • City of New Westminster
  • City of Quesnel
  • City of Port Coquitlam 

Living wage standards

As a certified living wage employer, the City is committed to paying employees and employees of externally contracted service providers a living wage.

Metro Vancouver's living wage rate for 2017 is $20.62 including direct wages and the value of non-mandatory benefits.

Our Procurement Policy was updated on May 1 to reflect living wage standards for services purchased in support of City and Park Board operations.

Our living wage requirements apply to vendors who provide services and meet all of the following criteria:

  • Estimated annual value of the contract is greater than $250,000.
  • Services are performed on properties owned by or leased to the City
    including all streets, sidewalks and other public rights of way.
  • Services are provided on a regular, ongoing basis.
  • Contractor is expected to perform the services for greater than 120 hours per year of the contract.

Living wage standards are not applicable for:

  • Emergency or non-recurring repairs or maintenance services where no standing contract is in place.
  • Services performed by organizations that lease property from the City.
  • Contracts with social enterprises.

The living wage standards in our Procurement Policy are applicable to new service contracts that meet the above criteria.

The living wage is the hourly rate required for two working adults to meet the basic needs of a family of four such as rent, food, transportation and childcare. It is calculated annually by LWFC and is based on the regional cost of living. It does not include pension savings, debt service, or many other routine expenses.

Learn more about how the living wage is calculated. External website

City employees are already compensated at the current living wage rate, as are many contracted staff.

Healthy City Strategy

In July 2015, Council approved a motion affirming its commitment to have the City of Vancouver become certified as a Living Wage Employer and directed staff to report back on the steps necessary to achieve that goal.

This initiative is part of our Healthy City Strategy which includes 19 high-priority actions for 2015 - 2018, outlining an approach to respond to the guiding principles, long term goals and indicators for achieving and measuring progress which included becoming a living wage employer.

Adopting a living wage policy demonstrates the our commitment to
support Vancouver residents and families, and healthy, thriving communities.

Learn more about our committment as a living wage employer.