Our View: Wages are still too low

The provincial minister of labour announced an increase in the general minimum wage on Nov. 1 to $9.50 per hour.

On Oct. 29, the provincial minister of labour announced an increase in the general minimum wage on Nov. 1 to $9.50 per hour—an increase following another adjustment May 1 from $8 to $8.75.

Critics have cited three fundamental deficiencies in the government’s minimum wage policy: 1). The minimum wage is still too low; 2). The lower minimum wage for liquor servers is discriminatory; and 3). The exclusion of hand-harvesting farmworkers from the minimum hourly wage is discriminatory and out of date.

The minimum wage is too low by any objective measure such as the poverty line or measures of a “living wage.”

The government’s refusal to increase the minimum wage by the rate of increase in the cost of living between 2002 and 2010 meant that minimum wage earners saw a decline in their real income by 16.5 per cent—one of the factors contributing to an increase in income inequality in B.C.

There are six provinces and territories with higher minimum wages than B.C. In addition, there is still no mechanism for predictable annual adjustments to the minimum wage.

Bowing to pressure from hotel and restaurant employers, the government introduced in May of this year a new lower minimum wage for liquor servers.

The new liquor server rate was set 25 cents per hour below the minimum wage, and on Nov. 1 became 75 cents per hour below the minimum wage.

There is no rational or objective basis for this form of discrimination. Liquor servers are not the only service workers who receive tips and gratuities. The provincial minimum wage discrimination against liquor servers and hand harvesters should be ended because it impacts on some of the most vulnerable and exploited workers in B.C.

 

Just Posted

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Kelowna teen allegedly robbed while walking at night

Community asked for tips to help reunite teen with ring

Nasty note on windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Remembering road crash victims in Kelowna

World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims takes place Sunday in Kelowna

Flag person struck by car

RCMP investigating incident involving female traffic control person and senior driver

Rockets calm Hurricanes for 7th straight win at home

Dillon Dube scored twice Friday to lead Rockets to WHL victory over Lethbridge

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Guns and drugs seized in Kamloops RCMP blitz

Kamloops Mounties and the gang unit seize drugs and make arrests in two-day blitz

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Interior Health expands meningococcal precautions in South Okanagan

Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls included in the expanded precautionary immunization measure

Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Volunteers are hitting the streets this week to find solid data on Penticton’s homeless population

Missing woman smart, courageous, lovable

Mother says Caitlin Potts trying to overcome foster care experience

Most Read