August 18, 2020, North Vancouver, BC — The Squamish Nation is proud to announce its recent certification as a Living Wage Employer in BC through the Living Wage for Families Campaign.
A “Living Wage” is the hourly amount a family needs to cover basic expenses, including food, clothing, rental housing, child care, transportation, and small savings to cover illness or emergencies. The living wage calculation for each region is calculated on a two-parent family with two children — the most common family unit in BC — and each parent working full time.
Currently, the minimum wage in BC is $14.60/hour, but the Living Wage in Metro Vancouver for 2019 is $19.50/hour for an employee who does not receive benefits, or $17.18/hour for an employee at the Squamish Nation who receives benefits.
“The Squamish Nation strives to be an employer of choice, where our community members and all current and prospective employees seek career opportunities with the Squamish Nation. Being a Living Wage employer and providing an annual Cost of Living increase are two ways that we can work towards accomplishing this goal. It shows that we value our employees by ensuring they have their salary needs met to take care of their families and also build a strong and healthy Squamish Nation community,” said Orene Askew, Squamish Nation Councillor and Spokesperson.
“The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the importance of achieving living wages for all, whether for workers identified as essential during this crisis, putting their lives on the line to keep us safe, or those whose low wages and precarious work have left them without a buffer in the face of acute income insecurity. We are very grateful that Squamish Nation have stepped up at this time and committed to paying their staff and contractors a living wage,” said Anastasia French, Campaigns Organiser for the Living Wage for Families Campaign.
By becoming a Living Wage Employer, the Squamish Nation joins over 160 Living Wage Employers in BC, including several other governments such as Huu-ay-aht First Nation, Central Saanich, the City of Port Coquitlam, and the City of Vancouver.
This means that all Squamish Nation staff will now be receiving at least the Living Wage as outlined above. Living Wage pay adjustments for contractors will come into effect upon the renewal of contracts.
In total, 96 Squamish Nation employees will benefit from the Living Wage adjustment. 64% of all Squamish Nation staff (or 280 employees) are Squamish Nation members, with an additional 11% of staff identifying as Indigenous from other Nations.
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