What would our community look like if all people who wanted to work could find jobs and if those jobs paid a living wage? What does a “living wage” entail?
The Church Council of Greater Seattle in our Living Wage Principles define a living wage as a wage that allows a person or family to be self-sufficient, without the need for public or charitable assistance and to modestly participate in the fullness of life that God envisions for all people.
The concept of a living wage goes beyond a minimum wage in that it considers the multiple components that individuals and families need to prosper. A living wage enables people to access good nutrition, affordable housing, healthcare, efficient transportation, jobs where they are respected and have a voice, opportunities for education, and childcare. Living wage jobs are essential for individuals and families to be financially self-sufficient and for the long-term sustainability and vitality of our communities.
As people of faith we believe that we are called to live together in cooperation, not competition. We strive to act in ways that are motivated by more than profit margins and maximizing our own interest, but in ways that are also good for our neighbors and our larger community. Finally, we believe that we have been given a world with resources sufficient for everyone to have enough, not just the privileged few.
We come together, not claiming to have all the answers, but witnessing that our houses of worship are places where we can enter into discussion with grace and love to figure out how to best live out our shared values. It is our faith that gives us the calling and the courage to engage in this journey towards making a Living Wage vision a reality in our Puget Sound region.
You and your congregation are invited to walk with us on this journey. Learn more about opportunities for education and advocacy through the Church Council of Greater Seattle.
Background and Resources:
- From a federal minimum wage to a living wage. Learn more about the history and origins of current living wage efforts including the Self-Sufficiency Standard that helps us understand issues of income inadequacy.
- Living Wage Principles– The Church Council of Greater Seattle outlines our Living Wage vision and specific components of what a Living Wage entails.
- Resources: Find links to faith-based resources from various denominations and helpful studies and research related to minimum wage laws and worker issues.