The living wage is meant to provide families with basic economic stability and maintain a modest standard of living.The living wage, unlike the minimum wage, is the actual amount that earners need to make to be able to live in a specific community.
The 2016 living wage for Edmonton is $16.69 per hour. This is the amount that a family of four with two parents who work full-time require to live in economic stability and maintain a modest standard of living. This includes being able to afford basic necessities (food, shelter, utilities, clothing, transportation, etc.), to support healthy child development, to avoid financial stress, and to participate in their communities.
The living wage for Edmonton was first calculated in 2015. Each year the living wage is updated to reflect social and economic changes. Since last year, Edmonton’s living wage rate dropped by $0.67. The drop in the living wage is due to changes in government taxes and transfers, particularly in increased benefits through the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) as well as the Enhanced Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC).
Moving forward, the ESPC hopes to work alongside stakeholders and community partners, including the City of Edmonton, to begin the process of formally recognizing living wage employers.
For 76 years, the ESPC has been an important player in social research and advocacy in the Edmonton region and beyond.
To build on this strong history, and to guide future success, the ESPC has developed a new Strategic Framework. The Framework defines a bold, new organizational vision that positions the ESPC as the community’s go-to organization for relevant, quality research on social issues.
Developed between October 2015 and March 2016, both board and staff members worked together to identify options for the future of the organization. Mark Holmgren Consulting aided the planning process by providing advice and facilitation assistance through several working sessions. These sessions allowed staff and board members to grapple with defining the way ahead for ESPC. The result is a framework that will guide decision making in the organization and clearly articulates ESPC’s role in the community.
An important component of the framework is a revised mission statement: “Through rigorous research, detailed analysis, and community engagement, we deepen community understanding of social issues, influence policy, and spark collaborative actions that lead to positive social change.”
The Framework also establishes three impact statements—high-level statements that define the organization’s desired outcomes—through our work, we seek to achieve:
- An informed community that is knowledgeable about social issues, challenges, and potential actions;
- An engaged community that works together to determine priorities and organize efforts; and
- A changed community that benefits from positive social change.
A set of guiding principles help to describe the type of organization we strive to be. For example, the Framework directs the ESPC to be an independent and nonpartisan organization that prioritizes research that can lead to action. The plan also prioritizes working with diverse partners and ensuring a wide range of audiences can access our reports.
The Framework also defines a set of strategies to guide the operational activities of the ESPC. These strategies confirm the Council’s leadership role in conducting and disseminating research to help Edmontonians understand current issues, policies, and potential courses of action. The strategies also reaffirm our commitment to work in partnership with other organizations to leverage resources and achieve shared goals.
The Framework defines several strategic shifts for the organization. For example, the Framework directs the Council to focus on supporting learning outcomes and capacity building for our partner organizations. The Framework also commits to enhancing the way we share information, whether through online forums or in-person events.
Moving forward, the Framework will guide the development of an operations plan and a communications strategy for the organization. Click here to download the ESPC 2016 Strategic Framework.
ESPC's 2015 Annual Report contains information on our activities from 2015. Download it today to read up on our board, our new strategic framework, 2015 in review, our plans for the future, and much more!
As our outgoing president Anne Stevenson so elegantly writes, "One thing has stayed constant. Over the past year, the Edmonton Social Planning Council has continued to undertake rigorous research to analyze key trends influencing change in our community and formulate evidenced-based solutions to address the challenges we collectively face. As you will see in the following pages, 2015 was another busy and successful year for our organization."
Executive Director Susan Morrissey adds, "2015 saw staff continuing the course with our work on poverty issues. We analyzed the data and wrote the report, Tracking the Trends 13th Edition, prepared and disseminated the first ever Edmonton Poverty Profile, which was used by the End Poverty Edmonton Task Force (www.endpovertyedmonton.ca) to establish benchmarks, and ;calculated and established a living wage for Edmonton. As part of both the Research Roundtable and the Income Security Working group of the End Poverty Edmonton Task Force, staff were able to contribute to the important work to end poverty in Edmonton in a generation.
Welcome to Summer! This issue of the fACTivist addreses Edmonton Across the Ages, from babies to boomers and beyond.
Inside this issue:
YRAP Mentorship: By Youth, For Youth
An Interview with Edmonton’s Next Gen
The Way We Live: A Profile of Edmonton’s People Plan
The City of Edmonton Youth Council: Shaping Municipal Policy
Social Justice Events Review
ETS Mobility Choices
Child Benefit Enhancements Are Poverty Game Changers
Ending Poverty in a Generation: The Road Map
Get to Know an ESPC Staff Member
Board Member Profile
Upcoming Social Justice Events
New Mission and Vision Statements
Links, Resources, and Credits
In September 2015, the EndPovertyEdmonton Task Force released its Strategy with a bold goal of ending poverty within a generation. [The] Strategy was robustly tested with thousands of Edmontonians who told us our community is more than ready to join us in the epic work to end poverty in a generation.
KÎYÂNAW: FOR ALL OF US
What defines Edmonton’s approach to ending poverty? We believe that ending poverty is not a business, but a calling. This sacred work speaks directly to our human rights lens and our Treaty roots that are central to the actions in this Road Map. This five year Road Map reflects our best thinking about our first steps and our initial priorities for action. As a community plan, it highlights the direction ahead.
We're Proud to Contribute
Edmonton Social Planning Council is listed as a potential partner for Action #15, "Actively encourage local employers in all sectors to learn about and implement living wage policies."
The report lists us as one of their leverage partners, and we're proud to help them as they "build on strong research and evaluation partnerships ... [creating] a robust evaluation and measurement framework."