There are 70 United Way Centraides across Canada working to address a range of needs in their local communities. While each local United Way is operated independently, they have a shared focus on collective impact as a way of creating pathways out of poverty so people and families can thrive. Across the network, hundreds of thousands of people are helped by United Way-funded programs and services each year. We are thrilled that United Way of Lethbridge and South Western Alberta and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region have been certified as Living Wage Employers and are committed to paying their employees and contractors a living wage based on costs of living in their community. The Lethbridge living wage for 2021 is $19.00 per hour and Edmonton’s is $18.10 per hour.
When we asked what motivated these two organizations to join, Emily Slasynski, the Portfolio Manager of People and Culture from Capital Region said, “United Way of the Alberta Capital Region chose to become a Certified Living Wage Employer because it is aligned with our values that set how we behave and operate as an organization. We believe that all individuals deserve to earn a wage that allows them to live comfortably and sustain a lifestyle that goes beyond the minimum.”
Janelle Marietta, Executive Director of United Way of Lethbridge and South Western Alberta noted a few reasons why her organization became certified stating that, “United Way of Lethbridge and South Western Alberta strives to eliminate poverty in our community and paying a living wage is an important step in this work.” She then followed up by noting that, “Our staff will be more effective in their roles if we can eliminate poverty related stressors. We want to set the standard in the non profit industry for organizations to pay their staff fairly and in alignment with other industries.” She also spoke to how “the nonprofit industry has high representation of women employed. We want to see fair and equitable pay through a living wage, offered to all industries, but particularly those that are female dominated.”
With these two organizations on board, there are now 12 nonprofits certified as Living Wage Employers in Alberta and we are excited to see which other nonprofits will follow their lead.