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Calculating a Living Wage for your Community

Submitted by Donna Jean Fors... on May 29, 2013 - 9:19am

Over the past few years, public and private sector employers and municipalities across Canada have been working towards adopting living wage policies.  These leaders identified the value of developing a Canadian Living Wage Framework which includes a consistent living wage definition, calculation methodology and strategy for recognizing corporate and community leadership who commit to pass a living wage policy.  This Canadian Living Wage Framework provides a definition, methodology, principles and lots of resources that these leaders hope that all communities involved in the living wage movement in Canada will adopt. 

A living wage is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the legal minimum all employers must pay. The living wage sets a higher test — a living wage reflects what earners in a family need to bring home, based on the actual costs of living in a specific community. The living wage is a call to private and public sector employers to pay wages to both direct and contract employees sufficient to provide the basics to Canadians.

This Canadian Living Wage Framework has just been finalized and is moving towards creating a website ( of useful tools and a social media campaign - find us on facebook and twitter (@LivingWageCDA). 

If you are going to use this methodology to develop a living wage campaign in your community we would ask that you complete this short survey to let us know that you are endorsing the national framework so that your community can be included in the national living wage movement, website and learning community.

For more information on the living wage simply use the search feature of this website and search Living Wage - there is a lot of helpful material there.

living_wage_full_document_nov.pdf194.78 KB