4 Saskatoon employers pledge to pay employees a living wage

The Canadian dollar was little changed Tuesday amid a weak reading on the manufacturing sector.
Four Saskatoon employers have pledged to pay their staff at least $16.80/hour, considered the living wage to meet basic needs in the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Four Saskatoon employers are pledging to pay their staff a living wage, becoming the first certified living wage employers in Saskatchewan.

Shift Development, the Better Good, United Way and Friedt Finishing have all joined the movement.

The companies are promising to pay their employees at least $16.80/hour, $5.90/hour more than the current minimum wage in the province.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan’s minimum wage going up 22 cents in October

Officials said there are benefits to businesses willing to embrace this change.

“We’ve seen a three-fold increase in our talent pool applications, so we’re hiring better people for the jobs that we have, our employee retention is longer,“ Cori Ramsay, communications officer at Integris Credit Union, said.

“We’re not paying for huge amounts of turnover, hiring a new employee is a huge cost and if you can combat that by paying a living wage, that is something that will benefit you in the long-run as an employer.”

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READ MORE: Advocacy groups calling for an anti-poverty act to address poverty in Sask.

Officials say by offering a living wage, company morale is better when employees aren’t financially stressed or looking for other jobs that will pay the bills.

The Living Wage YXE Campaign said the calculations are based on the wage a family of four, with two full-time workers, needs to make to meet their basic needs in Saskatoon.