Revelstoke’s living wage has decreased, but remains the third highest in the province at $18.90 per hour, according to the Living Wage for Families BC Campaign.
“The annual family income needed to make ends meet is now nearly $75,000 a year,”Jill Zacharias, Revelstoke’s Social Development Coordinator said in a statement released by the city.
On May 1, the Living Wage for Families Campaign released its living wage calculations for 2019. Revelstoke’s living wage decreased from $19.37 in 2018 to $18.90 for 2019.
A statement from the City of Revelstoke notes the introduction of the federal Canada Child Benefit last year helped offset the rising cost of living, ensuring Revelstoke’s living wage saw only a slight increase. The introduction of the provincial Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Free Reduction initiative this year has further helped to decrease the cost of living for families with children. Without child care benefits, Revelstoke’s 2019 ‘living wage’ would have risen to $21.14 per hour, said the statement.
Zacharias said it is important to note that the ‘living wage’ in Revelstoke did not decrease from last year as dramatically as in some other communities across the province – including Metro Vancouver. This is directly attributable to the cost of housing in particular, where costs are rising higher, more quickly than elsewhere.
“We need to think about what this means for families and residents trying to make ends meet in our community. Many people are working more than one job. Many employers do what they can to incentify work – offering bonuses, benefits and, for example, allowing employees to eat a meal at work if they work in the food industry,” said Zacharias.
Mayor Gary Sulz, chair of the Poverty Reduction Working Group for the City of Revelstoke’s Social Development Committee, said he looks forward to working with municipal partners, staff, and community members to address the challenges facing Revelstoke and further reduce the cost of living in the community.