B.C. hiking minimum wage

Wage will rise by $2.25 over the next year, province scraps training wage
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 03/17/2011

British Columbia will see its minimum wage rise to $10.25 by May 1, 2012.

Premier Christy Clark said the first hike in the wage takes affect on May 1, 2011, when it will rise from $8 to $8.75 an hour. It will go up again on Nov. 1, 2011, and May 1, 2012. (See chart below.)

She also said the province is scrapping the training wage on May 1, 2011, meaning all hourly paid employees will be entitled to the general minimum wage regardless of how long they have been in the paid labour force.

About 41,2000 workers in B.C. — or 2.3 per cent of the workforce — earn minimum wage, according to Statistics Canada figures supplied by the province.

“Raising the minimum wage and eliminating the training wage is a fair and reasonable step forward in putting families first and building our economy. This increase could mean more than $4,000 additional dollars annually for a full-time employee, providing more support to B.C. workers and the families who depend on them,” said Clark. “Businesses told us they needed time to adjust to increases in the minimum wage and we’re pleased we’ve been able to provide that certainty to them through three predictable stages.”

A special minimum wage for liquor servers will also be phased in, beginning May 1, 2011. It will be modelled on what now exists in Ontario for employees who serve liquor directly to customers or guests in licensed premises as a regular part of their work.

“We consulted with stakeholders and economic experts on their views about increasing the minimum wage. As a result of those discussions, it was determined that job impacts are minimized when minimum wage increases are done incrementally over time,” said Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government. “Our approach to liquor servers will be in line with what already exists in Ontario. In that province, the alcohol server rate has allowed the general minimum wage to increase while maintaining and supporting jobs in the food and beverage service sector.”

Minimum wage increase schedule

Date

Rate per hour

Current

$8

May 1, 2011

$8.75

Nov. 1, 2011

$9.50

May 1, 2012

$10.25

Other notes about the minimum wage increase

Workers who are subject to alternate minimum pay provisions will receive corresponding increases on a percentage basis.

Piece rates for hand harvesting certain crops will be adjusted as a percentage of the first phase of the general minimum wage and will be further reviewed by government.

Alcohol server wage for liquor servers

Date

Rate per hour

Today

$8

May 1, 2011

$8.50

Nov. 1, 2011

$8.75

May 1, 2012

$9

Note: The alcohol server wage will apply to employees who serve liquor directly to customers or guests in licensed premises as a regular part of their work.

Quick facts on B.C.’s minimum wage

There were approximately 1.8 million paid employees in B.C. in 2009.

According to Statistics Canada, 2.3 per cent of B.C. paid employees earned $8/hr or less (about 41,200 workers) in 2009.

The average hourly wage in B.C. in February 2011 was $23.16 — the third-highest hourly wage in the country, behind only Alberta ($25.65) and Ontario ($23.74). (February 2011 figures)

B.C.’s average hourly youth wage is $13.86 per hour — the third-highest in Canada, behind only Alberta ($15.69) and Saskatchewan ($14.79).

According to the 2009 B.C. Wage and Salary Survey conducted by B.C. Stats and Statistics Canada:

The most frequent wage for farm workers was $12.93 and the average starting wage for farm workers was $11.28.

The most frequent wage for food and beverage servers working full time was $10.15 (not including tips).

For retail salespersons and clerks, the most frequently paid wage was $14.61 and the average starting wage was $12.16.

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