Buckerfields commits to “living wage” for employees

Duncan-based company said it was the right thing to do

Many of the employees at Duncan-based Buckerfields’ stores in B.C. are getting raises.

Buckerfields has announced that, as of Sept. 2, all its full-time staff at its eight stores on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland, Okanagan and Shuswap will be paid according to a “living wage” scale.

A living wage is a standard of pay based on actual living costs in a given region.

Social Planning Cowichan recently released its living wage for the Cowichan Valley for 2017.

According to the SPC, the living wage of a typical family of four, with two parents and two children, in the Cowichan Valley is $19.05 per hour

And that’s with both parents working for that wage at 35 hours a week each.

FOR RELATED STORY, CLICK HERE

The province’s minimum wage is currently set at $10.85 an hour, but will increase to $11.35 an hour as of Sept. 15.

Buckerfields’ CEO Kelvin McCulloch said that by comparison, Buckerfields lowest regional ‘living wage’ after one year of full-time employment is now $16.73 per hour, plus an additional $1.69 in living costs paid through the company’s benefits program.

He said part-time employees start at $14.75 per hour and all pay rates are expected to increase annually according to the BC Consumer Price Index.

McCulloch said Buckerfields employees also participate in the company’s $1 dollar per hour Sales Bonus program, the Employee Discount program for store purchases and the company supplies various work wear, safety items and pet food to employees free of charge.

He said the company has been working on developing a consistent pay scale across all the stores since 2005.

“First, we had to build up the company so the pay scale was actually affordable,” he said.

“Every year we increased and levelled wages as much as possible. This year we hit upon the concept of the living wage. We realized it was the right thing to do and we could do it. Notices of pay increases went out to store employees in the last week of August.”

McCulloch said he expects the wage increase will see the company’s expenses for employees rise by approximately 10 per cent a year; but it’s worth it.

“We have senior people who have been working for Buckerfields for 20 to 25 years who are excellent customer service people and are really ambassadors for the company, and they should be paid accordingly,” he said.

“It’s also a fact that we’re beginning to have trouble finding good new people to work for us. The baby-boom bulge is now almost over and the labour market is getting tight. We want to be competitive and get the best people who will want to stay with us a long time. In the end, it will save the company money because we won’t have to start over every time an employee moves on.”

Just Posted

Nuxalk teams enjoy successful standings in 59th All Native Tournament

After seven days of non-stop basketball, the All Native Tournament came to a thrilling finish

B.C. Family Day to move to third week in February next year

Premier John Horgan said the move is to better align the holiday with businesses and families

B.C. Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

“This means more beds, a level three trauma centre, better surgery and better care,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

B.C. to increase minimum wage to $15.20/hour in 2021

Premier John Horgan says next increase will come in June

$2.5M project underway at BC Ferries terminal in Bella Coola

Construction has started in the $2.5M project to modify the berth at Bella Coola

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. turns up the heat in the wine pipeline feud

B.C. challenges Alberta’s ban on wine over pipeline expansion dispute

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Most Read