Letter to the editor – Workers deserve living wage

Workers deserve living wage

Calgary Herald 18 Aug 2018

Re: “Services sector lost 26,000 jobs in Calgary in a year,” Aug. 14

I read with interest about the impact of increasing minimum wage as businesses dread the coming increase in minimum wage on October 1.  We know that a minimum wage is not enough for an individual or family to meet their basic needs.

We calculate and advocate for a living wage.  Currently for Calgary it is $18.15 per hour before taxes and statutory benefits. (Some earn less than this amount but enjoy a comprehensive employee benefit plan.) Calgarians making less than this amount depend on a second or third job, family or social services such as the food bank to meet their daily needs of housing, transportation and food.

We applaud businesses such as some members of the Respect for the Earth and All People (REAP) association who have reviewed their business models and are paying a living wage while generating a good bottom line.

It can be done, and it is being done.  Not doing do so increases the number of working poor in our city.  We encourage all employers to strive to pay a living wage. What living wage employers have realized that it is a more sustainable way of running their business by reducing turnover rates, increased morale, increased productivity and a consistent bottom line.  We don’t have to make a trade off between a good top and bottom line and help to reduce poverty in our city.

Franco Savoia
Executive Director
Vibrant Communities Calgary

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