Poverty Level Minimum Wage Adjusted to Still be Poverty Level Minimum Wage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2016
POVERTY-LEVEL MINIMUM WAGE ADJUSTED TO STILL BE POVERTY-LEVEL MINIMUM WAGE
Tomorrow, on October 1, 2016, minimum wage earners in Saskatchewan will wake up to discover they are making the same as they did last year, and the year before that. The Government of Saskatchewan will adjust the minimum wage for inflation, from the staggeringly low rate of $10.50 per hour to the staggeringly low rate of $10.72 per hour.
“What the Sask. Party government calls a raise isn’t a raise at all – it’s simply an adjustment to keep pace with inflation. I think it’s time we give low-wage workers in the province a proper raise,” said Larry Hubich, president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL).
The SFL has long-advocated – under governments of different political stripes – for a minimum wage that is well above the Low Income Cut-off (LICO), or 75% of the Average Industrial Wage, or an actual living wage.
“The minimum wage should be indexed to inflation only once the base wage is high enough for people to enjoy a reasonable quality of living, including the ability to afford: housing, utilities, food, childcare, recreational activities, and saving for education,” said Hubich, “the SFL believes the government must develop a roadmap that gets the minimum wage to a living wage, and the best way to start that process is a rapid phase-in to $15 per hour,” he added.
Even with tomorrow’s adjustment Saskatchewan’s minimum wage falls behind that of its closest neighbours. Manitoba’s minimum wage is $11 per hour, and Alberta’s will be $12.20 per hour with a plan in place to make it $15 per hour by October 1, 2018.
“What we are seeing is a lack of leadership by the Sask. Party government. I believe Saskatchewan is the best province in Canada with the best workers in Canada – so why doesn’t the Sask. Party think we should have the best minimum wage in Canada?” he said.
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For additional information, contact:
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour
o: 1 (306) 525-0197
m: 1 (306) 570-1855