Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson puts forward living-wage motion

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      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.



      Yo how much Happy Juice

      Jun 29, 2015 at 12:14pm

      So how much does he pay in RICHMOND (where there was an issues of non payment of Water used) at the Happy Juice (I know it's Planet) for unskilled low level staff?

      $20 yeah right prob closer to $12.


      Jun 29, 2015 at 12:41pm

      Crazy that we as a society with the wealthy significantly grotesquely full of gold more than ever , that the politicians feel they need to ask the electorate / us people / the 99% or more if we want a living wage so we can be healthy and survive .
      Things are sure screwed up if you think anyone but greedy fools would argue against that , Next you'll be asking if we should raise the taxes on the rich and corporate wealthy .
      answer : OF COURSE , YES DO THAT NOW !!!


      Jun 29, 2015 at 1:40pm

      $20.68 per hour based on how many weekly hours exactly? Without clarity on that, maybe employers will start cutting hours down to 4 hours a day instead of 8. I wouldn't be surprised at any rate. And how would that impact people on a salary?


      Jun 29, 2015 at 3:25pm

      There was a time when it was taken for granted that full-time work of any kind should provide the necessities of life--even at the lowest minimum wage.
      Nobody questioned it.
      That was civilisation.
      That was Canada.
      That was the modern, twentieth century.
      In the 1980's, when minimum in BC was $4 an hour, roughly $150 a week, I worked for extended periods in the service sector and it was easy to meet all the basics. Rent covered in a week. All living expenses in the next two. Saving and splurging with the fourth. This was...absolutely, unquestionably...normal. Not even the jerks at the Fraser Institute had much to say about that.
      Today, after twenty-odd years of accidental/on purpose wage suppression, the minimum is completely out of whack with the cost of living.
      So, what happens whenever Robertson or anybody pokes their head out and says, maybe we ought to do something about this? Check out the comment sections in all the MSM today on this event--entirely typical: relentless, self-righteous sneers and smears of all low wage earners for the slacker demi-morons they just have to be ( previously known in the 20th century as ordinary , if lower paid citizens)...not to mention the obligatory gratuitous abuse of the mayor.
      I miss my old country.
      Undoubtedly it is important that the mayor should keep the subject of decent wages alive, but applying them only to an isolated few workplaces is not going to help much. You have to win back control of the moral argument from the goofballs and get the minimum back on track for everybody.

      Housing policy=living wage

      Jun 30, 2015 at 5:29am

      If only the mayor used tools at his disposal to control the cost of living properly and if only he'd take action, but he has not since he has been elected in 2008.

      Housing policy is within his jurisdiction and the quickest way to make sure costs are controlled FOR EVERYONE but instead now we're supposed to whimsically look a few years down the road with this Stupid Knight and believe the nonsense that things will get better through fake morality rather than actual policy and action. This goes for the council as well who is giddy and extremely lazy.

      Mayor: Write a white paper on affordable housing. Then follow through with solutions. I do not want to hear any more hippy dippy futuristic BS about what we should talk about doing. Do something. Oh wait, you've already lost all credibility.

      Of course you have to raise wages if you've let rental costs skyrocket. Gregor, if you'd only have done the most superficial math you could figure that out. Maybe this is an argument that we do need someone university educated as a mayor, maybe that person could see past the first premise and avoid getting bought by the developers, to defend, you know, actual ideals.

      I don't want to watch you riding around on your horse anymore, Gregor, watching you impotently wave your sword and feign nobility and fight fake battles that you in fact created. You have increased the cost of housing exponentially, and then want to come in and "save" us by proposing that in some fake future the city could pay people decently. You've got no will, no integrity, and PERHAPS MOST OF ALL: NO INTELLIGENCE!

      Helena Handbasket

      Jun 30, 2015 at 2:42pm

      Do you mean a wage rollback to $20? Do you mean to say that City Employees DON'T make upwards of $20/hr? Yeah... I thought so.


      Jul 2, 2015 at 1:38pm

      Gregor finally makes a promise he might actually have the capacity to keep. That really is news! I bet he still manages to fail.

      Good ole Vision

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:16pm

      They timed this one perfectly. Right between the transit plebiscite results and homeless count results.
      Gregor, almost all of the city of Vancouver staff already make a living wage. Please, concentrate your efforts on bigger picture issues. E.g. remember that time you promised affordable housing and an end to homelessness? Oh, and the improved transit you promised? Wait… didn't you also promise improved school food programs, and not to mention... meaningful collaboration with the community? ……..