The first of four annual increases to BC’s minimum wage kicks in today, raising the bottom wage to $12.65 an hour. Three more increases are planned in the coming years, bringing the wage up to $15.20 an hour by 2021. Jordan Armstrong reports.
The first of four annual increases is coming for British Columbia’s lowest-paid workers. Starting on June 1, people who earn minimum wage in this province will be paid $12.65 per hour, which marks a $1.30 increase.
Liquor servers will be also see an increase but will receive an hourly minimum wage of $11.40. Some employers have disputed that this group should be exempt from any increase because they receive more in tips. That argument was ultimately dismissed because not all servers who work in establishments with a liquor license can rely on that supplementary income.
Resident caretakers and live-in camp leaders will also see an 11.5 per cent increase. The alternate wage for live-in home support workers will be eliminated. Instead, workers in this category will receive the general minimum wage for all hours worked.
The decision to join other province like Ontario in increasing the minimum wage stems from the October 2017 report from the independent Fair Wage Commission. It is also a step towards the BC NDP’s election promise of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The next three annual increases should bring the minimum wage up to $15.20 per hour by 2021. The separate lower liquor server wage is also expected to be scrapped altogether.
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