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Minimum wage goes to $14.60 today

To support B.C.’s lowest paid workers, the general hourly minimum wage is increasing to $14.60, and the minimum wage rates for liquor servers, resident caretakers and live-in camp leaders are also increasing, effective Monday, June 1, 2020.

In 2018, to help make life more affordable for people, government committed to raising the minimum wage following a path of annual increases that are regular, measured and predictable.

Effective June 1:

* General minimum wage increases 5.4% to $14.60 per hour, an increase of $0.75 per hour.

* Liquor server minimum wage increases 9.8% to $13.95 per hour, an increase of $1.25 per hour.

* Resident caretaker minimum wage, per month, increases 5.4% to $876.35 for those who manage nine to 60 units (an increase of $35.12/unit), or $2,985.04 for 61 or more units.

* Live-in camp leader minimum wage, per day, increases 5.4% to $116.86.

These increases for low-wage workers are the third of four planned increases scheduled to take place on June 1 of each year since 2018. The increases are the result of recommendations from the independent Fair Wages Commission, established in 2017 to advise government on an approach to raising provincial minimum wages.

Despite today’s increase to $14.60 per hour, minimum wage workers struggle to make ends meet in one of the country’s most expensive provinces, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“Even with today’s increase, the minimum wage remains far below a living wage in BC, especially in Metro Vancouver,” said senior economist Iglika Ivanova.  “At $14.60 per hour, a minimum wage worker would have to work 35 hours per week just to earn as much as the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB), the standard that Canadians consider the bare minimum needed to live on. Working full-time should lift you well above the minimum, not just barely get you there.”

Ivanova notes that liquor servers in BC are paid a lower minimum wage, which increases today to $13.95 per hour.

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