Category Archives: Jobs

Cutting corners on healthy foods: How do Tofino’s lower wage workers get by with rising living costs?

Editor’s note: We need a study like this on lower wage earners living on Cortes and Quadra Islands, as well as Campbell River.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Tofino, BC – With tourism’s major contribution to Tofino’s economy, the industry itself is “less likely” to offer the region’s living wage, according to a recent report. 

While the costs of food, shelter, and transportation increase, tight food budgets are likely as locals cut corners to shoulder expenses. 

In early November, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust published their biannual Vital Signs report revealing the regions living wage of $26.51 per hour is almost 10 dollars over the province’s minimum wage of $16.75.

Continue reading Cutting corners on healthy foods: How do Tofino’s lower wage workers get by with rising living costs?

Living wage in Clayoquot Sound jumps over $5 in two years

Editor’s note: While the example is from Tofino, the liveable wage question is vital to Cortes and Quadra Island residents.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Tofino, BC – On Nov. 9, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust 2023 vital signs report was launched, revealing an over five-dollar increase in the living wage for Vancouver Island’s west coast communities. 

The living wage grew to $26.51 per hour, while in 2021 it was $21.25.

Continue reading Living wage in Clayoquot Sound jumps over $5 in two years

Unions to Get More Power with Replacement Worker Ban

Editors note: The 300 or so employees of Rogers Communications Inc currently on strike in Campbell River, belong to  United Steel Workers, Local 1944.

According to statistics Canada, 29.7% of British Columbia’s workforce was unionized in 2022. While the word ‘union’ does not appear to be used often in our area, teachers working at the Cortes and Quadra Island schools are members of the Campbell River District Teacher’s Association. School District 72’s other employees belong to CUPE 723. CUPE 401 represents Vancouver Island Public Library employees on Cortes, Quadra and throughout Vancouver Island, as well as staff working for the city of Campbell River. United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 represents forestry workers and the 82 unionized workers at Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex. There are undoubtedly more examples of unions in our remote corner of the globe.

In addition to the union aspect, this story is of local interest because it is about the struggle to obtain a liveable wage while prices continue to rise.    

By  Zak Vescera, The Tyee, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Raine Wright yells into his megaphone as men in neon yellow jackets circle around a chain-link gate outside an East Vancouver industrial yard.

They’re members of United Steelworkers Local 1944, some of the roughly 300 technicians who have been locked out by telecom giant Rogers after contract talks broke down and the union announced it would launch rotating strikes.

Continue reading Unions to Get More Power with Replacement Worker Ban

Living Wage Symposium brought multiple sectors together to tackle the affordability crisis

Editor’s note: This is a local issue. 33% of the respondents to the most recent Point In Time count of Campbell River’s unhoused population said they lost their homes because of insufficient income. In the Comox Valley, this statistic rose to 56%. According to the 2021 Census, 38% of the renters in those areas are paying more than they can afford for shelter. This is also true on Quadra Island and on Cortes Island the number of tenants paying unaffordable rents was 47%.

By Sidney Coles, Capital Daily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On Wednesday morning, representatives from the not-for-profit, private and public sectors gathered at the Living Wage Symposium at Victoria City Hall to discuss creative ways they can address the economic squeeze people are feeling in the CRD. The event was organized by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC) in partnership with the United Way Southern Vancouver Island, Vancity, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Living wage Families for BC.  

Continue reading Living Wage Symposium brought multiple sectors together to tackle the affordability crisis

Inside Vancouver’s Decision to Scrap Its Living Wage Commitment

Editor’s note: in a memo to the city council one year after the Living Wage program was introduced, City Manager (now Cortes Island resident) Sadhu Johnston reported, “During 2017, the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board signed or renegotiated 17 contracts that meet the Living Wage program criteria with vendors to ensure their staff and subcontractors are paid the living wage. Since the introduction of the policy, eight contracted service employees received a living wage who would not otherwise have been paid one. These employees are part of the contracted graffiti removal team and the contractor has reported reductions in absenteeism, turnover and recruitment costs as well as increased morale and productivity.”

By  Zak Vescera, The Tyee, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Internal emails suggest City of Vancouver staff felt “significant anger and disillusionment” after city council voted to scrap the municipality’s living wage policy this year.

That’s how former chief equity officer Aftab Erfan described the reaction from staff after the city announced in March it would no longer guarantee a living wage, effectively cutting the guaranteed minimum pay for security guards, food vendors, janitors and other low-wage workers. Erfan left the job four months later.

Continue reading Inside Vancouver’s Decision to Scrap Its Living Wage Commitment