Our submission to the Fair Wages Commission

On November 23, BC Employment Standards Coalition Co-Chair David Fairey made a submission in Vancouver to the Fair Wages Commission as part of its consultation. The submission contains detailed responses to questions from the Commission including, “What is a reasonable timeframe or schedule of increases in the minimum wage to reach $15-an-hour?” and “What are your experiences or thoughts about the farm workers piece rates in B.C.?”

Please click here to read our full submission.

Tell the BC gov’t that minimum wage for all workers should be $15 per hour

Photo of woman holding Fight for 15 sign outside of Walmart Supercentre

Photo: Global Research

 Now is your chance to tell the provincial government that the minimum wage for all workers should be $15 per hour – NOW. Please spread the word by sharing this poster!

The NDP provincial government has appointed an independent Fair Wages Commission to advise the government on when and how the general minimum wage should be increased to $15 per hour.

Currently, the legislated general minimum wage is $11.35 per hour, but a number of occupations are excluded from the general minimum wage. This includes liquor servers for whom the minimum wage is $1.25 less at $10.10 per hour, and farm workers who hand harvest fruits, berries and vegetables for whom there is no hourly minimum wage, only minimum piece rates.

The Fair Wages Commission is inviting anyone interested in the minimum wage issue to share their views on the issue, either through a written submission by e-mail or in person at one of eight consultation meetings of the Commission to be held around BC from November 16th to December 7th.

Visit The Fair Wages Commission for details and directions.

You can request to make a submission at any one of the eight consultation meeting locations by e-mailing FWC@gov.bc.ca

The deadline for making written submissions by e-mail is December 7, 2017. Instructions for written submissions are here. Written submissions can be emailed to: FWC@gov.bc.c

Tell the Fair Wages Commission that all workers without exclusion should receive a $15 hourly minimum wage – NOW!

No April Fool’s Joke – Lowest Minimum Wage in Canada


As of today, BC’s minimum wage is the lowest in Canada. Communities are rallying to send Fight for $15 National Day of Action Poster - Vancouvera strong message to Premier Clark: we need a $15/hour minimum wage.

Friday, April 15th is a huge day for the Fight for $15 campaign. It is Canada’s first official Fight for $15 National Day of Action. The BC Employment Standards Coalition supports this campaign, led by the BC Federation of Labour, and those who are joining with allied campaigns right across Canada and the United States in the fight for fair wages.

The rally will take place at Canada Place in Vancouver on Friday, April 15th at 5:00 pm. There will be music, performers, and speeches to help send a message to Christy Clark and the BC Liberal Government that low pay is not okay! Join in for an after party at the Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir St, starting at 6:30 pm.

Please bring your colleagues, friends, and family to this critical rally. Let’s ensure our voices are heard.

RSVP here or on Facebook.

If you are not in the Lower Mainland, you can support the day of action on Twitter #fightfor15bc and on Facebook by sharing posts and photos. If you’d like to organize an event in your community, contact the BC Federation of Labour office at 604-430-1421.

Together, we can build an economy that works for everyone.

Critics argue BC’s minimum wage increase is too low

David Fairey, Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition, was quoted in an article in the Georgia Straight on BC’s proposed minimum wage increase. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond is expected to announce this month that in September, the province will raise the minimum wage to $10.65/hour. Fairey has argued that the increase is inadequate, and would still leave the baseline for future Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustments too low.

The province’s imminent minimum wage announcement comes on the heels of a Freedom of Information Request by the Georgia Straight revealing that the BC government had been aware of faulty information guiding its increase in minimum wage in September, 2015. The province had initially intended to move BC to the middle of minimum wages relative to other provinces last year, but ended up leaving it close to the bottom of the barrel. However, once the government became aware of its error, documents show that it failed to correct or reveal this mistake to the public.

Ontario health workers call for paid sick leave

ImproveSickLeaveSome of the BC Employment Standards Coalition’s health worker colleagues in Ontario have launched a new campaign for paid sick leave.

At present, millions of Ontario workers lack paid sick leave or even unpaid job-protected sick leave. This policy gap leaves workers with few options but to go to work sick, which also puts the health of their co-workers at risk. In a recent blog post, members of Health Providers Against Poverty (HPAP) query whether Ontario’s sick day policies – including the requirement for medical notes – are making Ontarians sicker. HPAP member Dr. Andrew Pinto was recently interviewed about the campaign on CBC’s Metro Morning.

As part of the Fight for $15 and Fairness, health providers are calling on the province of Ontario to implement the following changes to improve people’s health and wellbeing, the health care system, and workplaces:

  1. Amend the Employment Standards Act so that all employees accrue a minimum of one (1) hour paid sick time for every 35 hours worked. For a full-time worker this would mean seven (7) paid sick days per year.
  2. Amend the Employment Standards Act to remove the exemption for businesses with fewer than 50 employees, so that all workers have access to unpaid, job-protected personal emergency leave.
  3. Amend the Employment Standards Act to prohibit employers from requiring evidence such as medical notes to entitle workers to personal emergency leave or paid sick days.

Please sign their petition here:


Photo courtesy of Health Providers Against Poverty.

Photo courtesy of Health Providers Against Poverty.