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Vancouver Airport Authority becomes a Living Wage Employer

Vancouver Airport Authority is pleased to announce its certification as a Living Wage Employer, making Vancouver International Airport (YVR) the first airport in Canada to achieve this designation.

As a Living Wage Employer, the Airport Authority pays all 600 of its direct employees at or higher than the designated living wage for Metro Vancouver, which is $20.52 per hour including benefits. Furthermore, as of March 2023 all employees working for our direct service providers at the airport, such as janitorial, building maintenance, landscaping, and traffic management contractors, will also be paid a living wage by their employer. We estimate this represents a further 1,600 employees across YVR.

Local workers and families will benefit from earning a living wage at YVR as Canada’s economy continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Different than minimum wage, a living wage ensures a household, defined as two adults and two children, can meet basic expenses, as determined by Living Wage for Families BC.

“While our focus through the past two years has been on meeting the operational and public health challenges wrought by the pandemic, we have also been working internally and with our direct service providers to develop a Living Wage policy to help address the rising cost of living in Metro Vancouver, which is creating real barriers to hiring and retaining workers”, said Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO at Vancouver Airport Authority. “We are a community centred business, and our Living Wage policy demonstrates our clear commitment to help make our community and local economy stronger and healthier. We know that not only is this the right thing to do, but it is also the smart thing to do.”

Living Wages for Families BC calculates the applicable living wage level for communities across the province, examining such factors as the cost of food, clothing, shelter, childcare, and transportation. Employee benefits for items such as extended health care, medical services, and paid sick leave are also utilized when determining if an employer is meeting the living wage criteria.

“Vancouver Airport Authority’s commitment to pay living wages to their direct staff and contracted workers is good news, especially for those who will see an increase in their wage rates. As living costs are rising, paying living wages is an important contribution to reducing the financial stress many individuals and families are facing,” said Adrienne Montani, Executive Director, First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society.

Quick Facts
  • Vancouver Airport Authority was designated as a certified Living Wage Employer by Living Wage for Families BC, hosted by First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society.
  • The minimum hourly wage in British Columbia as of June 1, 2022, is $15.65 per hour—the highest of all 10 Canadian provinces.
  • The hourly Living Wage including benefits for Metro Vancouver as calculated by Living Wage for Families BC is $20.52
  • Poverty costs British Columbians $1.2 to $3.8 billion a year in increased health costs, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and BC Healthy Living Alliance.

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