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Minimum wage going up in September, but still short of $15/hour

In accordance with a commitment made in May of 2016, the B.C. government will increase the minimum wage by 50 cents to $11.35 an hour, effective Sept. 15 of this year.

The new rate includes a 20-cent increase based on the BC 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI), plus an additional 30 cents. There will also be an identical increase of 50 cents per hour to the liquor server minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

The daily rates for live-in home support workers and live-in camp leaders, as well as the monthly rates for resident caretakers and the farm worker piece rates (for harvesters of certain fruits and vegetables) will also increase proportionate to the general minimum hourly wage increases on the same date. More information on these rates will be made public in advance of Sept. 15.

A government press release states the increase is “to better reflect the province’s overall economic growth and ensure all workers benefit from B.C.’s thriving job market.”

The increase, however, falls short for those who have been calling for a $15/hour minimum wage, including the B.C. NDP.

Last year NDP leader John Horgan committed to increasing the province’s minimum wage to $15/hour.

“It’s not good enough that people are working full time or more just to keep their heads above water, and it’s not good enough that this generation will actually be worse off than their parents when it comes to affordability and opportunity,” Horgan said in June. “Christy Clark was elected on her promise to put BC families first, but in fact people have never been her priority. She is focused on the needs of her wealthy and well-connected supporters at the expense of the rest of us,” Horgan said.

“Christy Clark has chosen to keep B.C.’s minimum wage one of the lowest in Canada.”

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