Written by Allison Smith, Thrive
Vibrant Communities Calgary has over 100 organizations and businesses in Calgary that have been identified as living wage leaders. Being a living wage leader means the organization has a commitment to providing full-time employees with an hourly salary that allows them to reach the poverty line and enables them to meet their basic needs. According to the Calgary’s Living Wage Action Team an individual working full time needs to make a minimum of $14.50/hour without benefits, or $13.00/hour with benefits to earn a Living Wage in Calgary. Full time meaning 35 hours per week, 52 weeks a year. This figure is based on the Statistics Canada 2012 before-tax Low Income Cut-Off amount for an individual with no dependents. This figure is also above the minimum wage in Calgary, which doesn’t quite make sense. According to the Poverty Costs 2.0: Investing in Alberta report, Alberta has the lowest minimum wage in Canada at $9.75. The idea is that individuals that are working shouldn’t be living in poverty and hard-work SHOULD be rewarded! Furthermore, maintaining basic needs is a right not a privilege!
Here are 5 organizations that are living wage leaders in YYC:
1) The Arusha Centre: The Arusha Centre is a collectively run, member-supported organization that provides resources and programming on local and global social justice issues! They’ve pledged to be a living wage leader. Learn more here: arusha.org
2) Bluplanet Recycling: Serving the condominium sector in Calgary, BluPlanet Recycling is a no-sorting, mixed materials recycling collection service! They’re also advocates of providing a living wage! Visit their website for more info: bprecycling.com
3) First Calgary Financial: First Calgary Financial is Calgary’s only locally-owned, full-service financial institution and the 9th largest credit union in Canada. First Calgary Financial’s 500 employees are proud to be leading, learning and living in the communities they serve. They are big supporters of providing living wage jobs and meaningful employment. For more information, visit firstcalgary.com.
4) YWCA Calgary: YWCA is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by supporting healthy women, healthy families and thriving communities. They’re also committed to advocating for living wage jobs! Learn more about YWCA Calgary, here ywcaofcalgary.com
5) Sunnyside Natural Market: Sunnyside Natural Market provides local and organic produce in the heart of the Kensington community. And they’re a living wage leader in Calgary! Learn more here: sunnysidemarket.ca
To learn more about living wage leaders in Calgary visit the Vibrant Communities Calgary website: www.vibrantcalgary.com
Interested in becoming a Living Wage Leader? Check out the quick online application : apply now!