Vancouver – The BC Liberal government is still not listening to British Columbians on minimum wage rates with an increase that leaves working people below the poverty line, says BC Federation of Labour.
“It is clear that our Campaign is having an impact and has forced the government to reconsider BC’s minimum wage,” said Irene Lanzinger, President of the BC Federation of Labour. “Unfortunately, the BC Liberals are still not taking the steps needed to lift a person working full-time above the poverty line.
“This is just one more missed opportunity for the Premier and the government to do what’s right.”
Today’s announced changes will see BC’s minimum wage increased to $10.85 per hour in September, and another lift of approximately 30-cents the following year.
The BC Federation of Labour has been campaigning for the government to put a plan in place to reach a $15 per hour minimum wage, a wage that would put a full-time worker above the poverty line.
In a recent poll conducted by Insights West, 83 percent of British Columbians agreed that minimum wage should put a worker above the poverty line. Seventy-six percent supported raising minimum wage to $15 per hour.
“The Premier’s announcement today is not getting us close to what workers in this province need and deserve,” said Lanzinger. “A $10.85 per hour minimum wage leaves a full-time worker nearly $5500 below the poverty line. That is simply unacceptable.”
“While Clark enjoys significant salary bonuses from her party, workers remain in poverty. She has become more and more disconnected from the people of this province who struggle every day to pay the rent, put food on the table and pay the hydro bill.”
Lanzinger also noted that in September, BC will still have the 7th lowest wage in the country behind all three territories, Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba. And by October we will fall behind Prince Edward Island.
The BC Federation of Labour maintains that British Columbia needs a fair minimum wage of $15 per hour and will continue the Fight for $15 Campaign.