Apr 27, 2010

Living Wage: Congratulations to New Westminster


Some great news to share on the living wage front.

Last night (April 26), New Westminster City Council voted unanimously to adopt the first municipal Living Wage policy in Canada. They have used the broad definition of the family living wage, developed two years ago by CCPA, First Call and the Victoria Community Council (meaning, modelled on a family of four with two young children), and applied the policy to both direct staff and contractors, which is fantastic, as it means this now sets a national standard/precedent for similar policies/bylaws. Hopefully, other cities will follow soon.

The motion was as follows:

That the City establish a Living Wage Policy that is tied to an hourly rate established each year by the Living Wage for Families Campaign; and,

That the Living Wage policy will apply to both full time and part time employees; and,

That there be no threshold in terms of dollar value of a contract or number of employees; and,

That the policy apply to persons that perform physical work on City premises and properties; and,

That staff bring back information to Council regarding implications of the Living Wage on contracted services.”

It’s a great win for the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families campaign (which includes First Call, CCPA, ACORN, HEU, and many others). Special recognition should go to the lead city councillor on this, Jaimie McEvoy, and to BC ACORN which initiated this effort in New West.

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