The SFU Living Wage Campaign is calling on SFU to meet a higher standard for both their direct staff and major contractors– to reflect what people need to support their families based on the actual costs of living in our community. Our campaign is asking SFU to pass a Living Wage Policy that would ensure that everyone working in SFU gets paid enough to live on.
Low wage workers at SFU face impossible choices — buy food or heat the house, feed the children or pay the rent. The result can be spiraling debt, constant anxiety and long-term health problems. In many cases it means that the adults in the family are working long hours, often at two or three jobs, just to pay for basic necessities. They have little time to spend with their family, much less to help their children with school work or participate in community activities.
One of the solutions to this dilemma is for organizations and institutions like SFU to adopt a Living Wage policy for its workers. A Living Wage is the amount of money two people working full time (35 hours per week) need to earn per hour to support a family of four. For Metro Vancouver, this has been calculated to be $20.10 per hour for 2014. This just covers bare bones expenses – it does not include things like owning a home, saving for retirement, a savings cushion, the cost of a holiday or the cost of caring for someone who is disabled or severely ill.