The Living Wage for Families Campaign has written to all 4 Provincial Parties asking them to consider the following proposals as part of a comprehensive Poverty Reduction Plan for BC:
1. Establish a Living Wage Unit . This unit would calculate annually the living wage rate for communities/regions throughout the province based the Living Wage for Families calculation methodology. The work of this unit should be guided by an advisory board of experts, community organizations, labour, and business. The unit would also promote the benefits of living wages throughout the province, and encourage employers to adopt the living wage in the communities where they operate.
2. Establish and implement a pilot Living Wage Policy in a relevant Provincial Government ministry or agency. The living wage policy will apply to all ministry/agency employees (full-time, part time and casual) and all service providers and contractor staff, similar to living wage policies at a local level. After implementation, the above pilot project should be reviewed with a view to extending it throughout all Provincial Government ministries and agencies.
3. Place a moratorium on all future contracting out of provincially-funded services that result in employees receiving less than a living wage.
4. Explore public policy interventions that reduce a family’s living expenses. Reducing families’ living expenses in turn will reduce the living wage rate and make it more affordable for businesses to pay.
The BC NDP and the BC Greens expressed an interest in hearing more about our proposal but no party has made a firm commitment in relation to any of the four proposals to date. For more details on all the issues relating to children and young people in the forthcoming election go to First Call’s 2013 Online Election Toolkit.
For information on poverty reduction go to First Call’s Poverty Report Card and Poverty Reduction Campaign for BC.