Pitt Meadows News: Pitt Meadows City Becomes Official Living Wage City

By on October 4, 2017

Campaign Organizer, Deanna Ogle handed Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker a plaque that officially reconizes the City of Pitt Meadows as a “Living Wage Community”. Through implementing a living wage the City of Pitt Meadows has demonstrated that there is a role for employers in ending poverty.

The living wage is the amount that two parents working full-time, full-year need to earn in order to meet their costs in a community. The living wage in Metro Vancouver is $20.62/hr.

An employer is certified as a Living Wage Employer by the Living Wage for Families Campaign when they confirm that all direct staff are earning a combination of wages and benefits equal to the living wage and establish a process to ensure that contracted workers will also earn a living wage as the contracts are tendered or renegotiated. The Employers Committee, a committee made up of current Living Wage Employers, reviewed the implementation plan developed by the City of Pitt Meadows and has recognized them as Living Wage Employers.

The journey to the City of Pitt Meadows certifying as a living wage employer has been a multi-year collaborative effort on the part of the mayor and council, It was first brought forward by Councillor David Murray and seconded by Councillor Janis Elkerton and Councillor Bruce Bell in 2011. It was narrowly defeated 4-3 back in 2011. City staff have shown a deep commitment to the living wage and the transformative role it can have for families.

In implementing a living wage for all city staff and contractors the City of Pitt Meadows is demonstrating leadership on the issue of affordability. We all know that Pitt Meadows is becoming a more expensive place to live, a living wage allows City of Pitt Meadows staff and contractors to breathe a little easier at the end of the month.

Community organizations unions and activists have cheered on the City of Pitt Meadows. Thank you to the Metro Vancouver BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, the Vancouver and District Labour Council and the individuals activists who came out to events and contacted your City Councillor’s.

The City of Pitt Meadows joins the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government – Ucluelet First Nation, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Vancouver, New Westminster, Quesnel and Port Coquitlam as local governments in BC who have successfully implemented living wage policies. Parksville has also passed polices and are working towards implementation.

The living wage is one part of the City of Pitt Meadows Healthy City Strategy. Through implementing a living wage the City of Pitt Meadows has demonstrated that there is a role for employers in ending poverty.

Approximately, 34% of couple families in Metro Vancouver are not earning a living wage. This is an issue that needs all levels government at the table; and not just government, low wage workers and people living in poverty have solutions. We need to be ready to hear their voices and take action towards a poverty free BC.

Today the City of Pitt Meadows becomes the first City in the Fraser Valley to adopt the policy. This is a remarkable show of leadership on the issue of low wage work.
The big crowd at City Hall gave a very loud ovation after the presentation.

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