The NDP are holding up another election promise and are even making sure the liberal’s promises are upheld.
The new government announced today that they will be putting the Liberal`s minimum wage increase talk in to action with a 50 cent increase as of September 15th.
The original announcement came from the Liberal government in 2016, and again earlier this year, but was never put into fruition.
Not only will they be increasing the wages now, but they are working on increasing minimum wage to 15 an hour by 2021.
Minister of Labour, Harry Bains, says in order to do this the NDP government is creating a Fair Wages Commission to look at how to raise the wages in “incremental and predicable increases”.
The increase from $10.85 to $11.35, combined with eliminating tolls and premiums, poverty reduction strategies, freezing hydro rates and increasing childcare spots are just some of the ways the NDP government is trying to make living more affordable.
Under the previous government, minimum wage was frozen for 10 years, and then there was a two dollar increase, which affected small businesses.
Bains says BC is behind leaders like Ontario and Alberta, who plan to have $15 minimum wages in effect by 2018 and 2019, respectively.
More information will be announced on the commission as the Terms of Reference are finalized, but Bains did add that within those terms a report would be due 90 days after the first meeting, and the commission will be tasked on how to get BC to $15 over four years, and further lower cost of living while it is being implemented.
Liquor servers’ wage is also rising by 50 cents to $10.10 per hour. Other minimum-wage provisions in the employment standards regulation will also receive increases in line with the general minimum-wage increase of 4.6%. This includes the daily rate for live-in home support workers and live-in camp leaders, as well as the monthly rates for resident caretakers and the minimum farm worker piece rates for harvesters of certain fruits and vegetables.
- In 2016, the percentage of employees earning minimum wage in British Columbia was 4.8%.
- The national average for the percentage of people earning minimum wage last year was 6.9%.
- The number of British Columbia employees earning minimum wage in 2016 was 93,800 out of a total of 1,958,600 paid employees (excluding self-employed).
The following is a breakdown of the 93,800 who earned minimum wage in B.C. in 2016:
- 50,600, or 54%, were youth aged 15 to 24 years
- 13,100, or 14%, were aged 55 years or older
- 57,700, or 62%, were female
- 23,900, or 25%, did not have high school graduation
- 12,200, or 13%, had a university degree