Minimum wage workers in B.C. will get a boost Tuesday (June 1) as their wages rise to $15.20 an hour.
The increase will push B.C.’s wage up by sixty cents from $14.60 and surpasses Alberta, which had the highest minimum wage of $15.
The moves satisfies a promise made by the NDP during their 2017 election campaign, where the party pledged to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2021. According to the B.C. government, 400,000 people – largely women, youth and immigrants – will benefit from the uptick.
Tuesday will also see the end of a lower minimum wage for liquor servers, increasing their pay from $13.95 an hour to the standard of $15.20.
“About 80 per cent of liquor servers are women, and the low liquor wage is a clear example of the gender pay gap we are fighting to eliminate,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary of Gender Equity. “Most minimum wage earners are women, often racialized women and newcomers who face barriers to accessing better-paying jobs. We need to work towards wages that workers can actually live on instead of being held back by.”
In a statement, the B.C. Federation of Labour said the new minimum wage is a testament to the work of the Fight for 15 campaign, an ongoing effort by the federation to raise wages to at least $15 per hour.
“The pandemic made clear how undervalued certain workers have been,” said president Laird Cronk. “Minimum wage workers, many working on the frontlines through COVID, make the profits for businesses and they deserve a dignified wage.”