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Brooks – Today the Alberta Living Wage Network (ALWN), in collaboration with 16 municipalities and organizations, released new living wages for 2023. This release coincides with Living Wage Week in the City of Brooks and is the first time a living wage has been calculated for the City of Brooks. Calculated wages for each participating municipality are as follows:
Drayton Valley, $19.55
Fort McMurray, $24.50
Grande Prairie, $18.90
High River, $21.70
Lac La Biche County, $21.60
Medicine Hat, $17.35
Red Deer, $18.75
Spruce Grove, $21.00
St. Albert, $23.80
Stony Plain, $21.10
The living wage is defined as the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and have a modest standard of living once government transfers have been added and taxes have been subtracted. Living wage rates are based on full time work (35 hours per week or 1,800 hours per year) and do not include extras such as benefits, perks, and paid time off (above the legislated minimum). The calculation is based on the income needs of three household types: a two-parent family with two young children; a lone-parent family with one child; and a single individual. It assumes that each adult is working full-time hours and includes savings for unexpected costs, continuing education, child care, and a small amount which allows people to participate in the community.
“Despite increasing costs on just about everything – particularly shelter – we did see some things that put downward pressure on the living wages. Government affordability measures and the Canada Dental Benefit have helped families. What’s missing in Alberta is any real action on increasing minimum wage despite every single other province making increases” says Ryan Lacanilao, Coordinator, Alberta Living Wage Network
Since becoming a member of the Alberta Living Wage Network in April 2023, this is the first time a living wage has been calculated for the City of Brooks. According to Brooks Mayor John Petrie, “the data in the report is important to Brooks so we know what the benchmark should be for affordability and livability in our community. Knowing this figure will help us understand how many people in our community might be living in poverty”.
Now that a living wage has been calculated, local employers will be encouraged to join the movement as a Living Wage Employer. To receive this certification, the employer needs to pay direct staff and indirect contract staff at least the living wage rate in our community. Paying a living wage not only helps reduce poverty and build a strong local economy, but also leads to employee retention, reducing recruitment and training costs. Currently there are over a hundred Living Wage Employers in communities across Alberta.
About the Alberta Living Wage Network
The Alberta Living Wage Network is a network of community organizations and municipalities with the goal of advancing a coordinated living wage movement in Alberta. The network assists communities in their annual living wage calculation and has certified more than 100 living wage employers in the province. For more information visit livingwagealberta.ca and follow @livingwageab on Twitter or Instagram.
For more information about the City of Brooks’ living wage, please contact:
Manager, Community Development
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