Maureen Berlin (centre) and Donna Sawatsky of SARA for Women receive a plaque from Stephen Evans to recognize the organization’s certification as a living wage employer. Submitted photo

SARA for Women named living wage employer

Organization serving Abbotsford and Mission receives certification

SARA for Women (formerly Women’s Resource Society of the Fraser Valley) has been certified as the Fraser Valley’s sixth “living wage” employer.

Stephen Evans of the Mission Skills Centre Society recently presented a plaque to SARA’s acting executive director Maureen Berlin in recognition of the achievement.

Employers are certified by the Living Wage for Families Campaign and recognized by Living Wage Fraser Valley when they pay all direct and third-party contracted staff a living wage.

The living wage is the amount a family of four, with two parents working full-time, needs to earn to meet their expenses. The living wage in the Fraser Valley is currently $16.28 per hour.

The re-calculation of the Fraser Valley living wage for 2017 will soon be released.

There are now more than 80 certified living wage employers throughout B.C., covering more than 12,000 direct employees and countless contracted staff.

The list continues to grow; the number of living wage employers has doubled in the last two years.

Deanna Ogle, campaign organizer with the Living Wage for Families Campaign, said that by paying a living wage, SARA is “demonstrating a strong commitment to the economic health of our communities and walking the talk on women’s equality.”

She said a living wage is important for families to be able to meet basic needs, create safe home environments for themselves and their children, maintain decent standards of living and participate as equal members of society.

Ogle said benefits extend to employers through higher employee loyalty and productivity, as well as decreased turnover and training and hiring costs.

Local businesses interested in learning more about living wage and the certification process can contact Shakira Miracle at 604-751-4222 or

SARA for Women provides shelter, housing, outreach, counselling, and crisis support to women, youth and children in Mission and Abbotsford.

Visit for more information.