A month ago, Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs told the Georgia Straight that a motion to start city hall down the path to becoming a living-wage employer would likely come to council this year.
“We have a city where poverty is a problem, where income inequality is a problem, and I don’t think anybody should be contributing to that problem if they can do otherwise,” Meggs said at the time. “It’s everybody’s job to fight poverty.”
Today (June 29), Mayor Gregor Robertson announced that he is putting forward a motion asking staff to report on the steps needed for the city to become certified by the Living Wage Campaign.
“Vancouver has one of the strongest economies of any city in Canada, but too many families are struggling to make ends meet. Full-time work should provide families with a basic level of opportunity and economic security,” Robertson states in a news release from the mayor's office. “A living wage has a direct impact on health and well-being, and helps create stronger local communities and economies. This motion will allow the City to lead by example, and encourage other organizations to join the living wage movement.”
According to the release, $20.68 is currently the living wage "required by both wage earners in a four-person family".
The release also notes that Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, the City of New Westminster, SAP, and the United Way already pay their entire staff a living wage.