The Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce our latest Living Wage calculations for the cities of Regina and Weyburn. Using cost-of-living data unique to both cities, such as rental prices, child care costs, transportation fees, etc, we calculate that a family of four would require a Living Wage of $16.95 per hour for Regina and $15.59 per hour for Weyburn in order to maintain a decent standard of living in each respective city. The Living Wage reflects what people need to support their families based on the actual costs of living in a specific community.
While the Living Wage is considerably more then the provincial minimum wage of $10.72 per hour, the current minimum wage barely lifts a family above the poverty line. The Living Wage only provides the income necessary to meet essential expenditures and ensure that a family does not slip into poverty. Under a Living Wage, parents and children would have adequate income to participate in work, life, recreational, and community activities. But it is certainly not a lavish wage, it doesn’t allow families to save for many of the things that most would consider essential; things like savings for retirement, post-secondary education for children, home ownership or service existing debt. Moreover, there is only a minimal income cushion in the case of a family emergency.
With more and more employers across the country embracing the Living Wage model, we hope these new calculations will inspire campaigns for Living Wages in these and other cities across Saskatchewan.