B.C.’s largest health union says the decision by Vancouver City Council, led by ABC Vancouver, to abandon its status as a living wage employer is short-sighted and disappointing.
HEU helped found B.C.’s living wage campaign in 2007 in response to the privatization of cleaning and dietary services in B.C. hospitals. The campaign was launched because the privatization left a highly gendered and racialized workforce struggling to support their families.
The City of Vancouver’s leadership in becoming a Living Wage Employer demonstrated the importance of economic justice and dignity for workers. For low-wage workers contracted by the city, having a living wage job made a significant difference in one of the most expensive cities in North America.
The decision by the ABC Vancouver council’s majority to offer a living wage based on a “five-year rolling average” shows that councillors who voted for this are out of touch with how inflation and rising costs play out in workers’ day-to-day lives.
We join other unions and community groups in condemning this short-sighted move that impacts some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and call on Vancouver City Council to reverse this decision and stay committed to being a living wage employer.