WATCH: B.C.’s minimum wage will go up by 20 cents in September, and will be tied to the consumer price index from now on. Keith Baldrey has more.
VANCOUVER – B.C.’s minimum wage will go up to $10.45 an hour on Sept. 15.
The province’s current minimum wage is $10.25.
WATCH: President of the BC Federation of Labour, Irene Lanzinger, says the increase is not enough:
Jobs Minister Shirley Bond announced the change in March, saying B.C.’s minimum wage will fall in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), meaning the minimum wage increases will be predictable. It will raise between 0.15 and 0.25 cents a year for the next few years. In years where there is a negative CPI change, the minimum wage would stay the same.
The minimum wage for servers is going up to $9.20 an hour. 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 farm worker piece rates (for harvesters of certain fruits and vegetables) are increased proportionate to the 20-cent increase in the general minimum hourly wage. All of the new rates will take effect on Sept. 15, 2015.
There are 110,000 people in B.C. earning the minimum wage with 50 per cent to those people living at home. Twenty-five per cent of people earning the minimum wage are attending school.
Bond said the average hourly wage in B.C. is just below $25 an hour, with the average youth wage being just below $15 an hour.
WATCH: Irene Lanzinger from the BC Federation of Labour talks to Global News about the increase
The B.C. Federation of Labour wanted the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour. Bond said the government is not going to move to $15 an hour. She said after speaking to small business owners in the province, it became clear that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would hurt the owners’ ability to conduct business in B.C.
“Small businesses told us they want the minimum wage increase to be reasonable and predictable, which is why we implemented a formula-based approach tied to economic indicators,” said Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business.
Restaurants Canada say they are happy with the 0.20 cents increase.
“The restaurant industry already struggles with intense cost pressures, and any bump in labour costs is challenging to absorb or pass on to customers,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada’s vice president Western Canada. “However, Labour Minister Shirley Bond’s move to align the minimum wage increase with inflation provides employers with some degree of certainty. Slow and steady wins the race.”