The Weyburn Credit Union has become the first credit union in Saskatchewan to receive certification as a Living Wage employer. They are also the first business outside of Saskatoon to receive the certification, as well.
Different from minimum wage, a living wage reflects what those who bring home a paycheck in a community need to make based on the actual costs of living in a community. Val Ness, the vice-president of human resources with the Weyburn Credit Union, explained there is a lot of work that goes into calculating a living wage, and it isn’t the same for each community.
“The living wage for families is calculated using a calculation used across Canada, and it’s based on the living expenses for a family of four, that would have two children aged seven and four, and both parents were working full time,” Ness said. In the case of Weyburn, the living wage needed is $15.59 per hour. These numbers were arrived at based on the formula, and through work done by the University of Regina.
Ness added the decision to go to a living wage helps fulfill one of the values of the Weyburn Credit Union: making a difference in the community. She said a living wage makes an investment in the staff and the community and sets them apart from other employers.
Being the first employer in the community to move to a living wage certification, Ness said they will be willing to help other businesses in Weyburn to make the transition and work with the on the various impacts it can have on the community.