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

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

U-Save property owner files six lawsuits against District of Hope

One of the lawsuits demands $6,200 to undo the work done on the roundhouse.

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

Raymond Lee Caissie gets life in prison for murdering Surrey teen in 2014

Judge numbers Caissie among ‘violent merciless men without a conscience’

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Most Read