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.

New op-ed on MLA candidates and employment standards

 

Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator of First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator of First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

David Fairey, labour economist, a research associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC Office, and Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition.

David Fairey, labour economist, a research associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC Office, and Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition.

In this week’s Province newspaper, BC Employment Standards Coalition members Adrienne Montani and David Fairey call on MLA candidates in the upcoming by-elections to clarify their parties’ positions on employment standards. They underscore the opportunity for immediate reform in three areas: minimum wages, child protections, and migrant worker rights and protections.

Read the full op-ed here.

 

 

New op-ed: Unjust treatment of farm workers should end

BC Employment Standards Coalition members Gurpreet Pabla and David Fairey published an opinion piece in the online version of The Province on the minimum piece-rate system for farm workers (separate wage rules apply to migrant farm workers hired under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program). You can read it here: Unjust treatment of farm workers should end. Their article was also published in the Georgia Straight. Thanks to the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for assisting with the publication process.

Fight for $15

bc fedOn March 12th, the government of BC announced a 20-cent increase to the minimum wage. However, even those minimum wage-workers employed full-time will continue to fall thousands of dollars below the poverty line.

The BC Federation of Labour points out that BC is falling behind places like the Northwest Territories, which is raising its minimum wage by 25%. Cities like San Francisco and Seattle are on their way toward a $15/hour minimum wage.

Please support the BC Federation of Labour’s Fight for $15. You can sign their petition at this link. The campaign offers numerous resources on reaching out to workers, including excellent Fact Sheets available in multiple languages. These fact sheets highlight BC’s minimum wage and poverty, the impact of the minimum wage on women, and on students.

New article: Change BC’s out-of-step, ad hoc style in setting minimum wage

David Fairey, co-chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition, contributed this critique of BC’s minimum wage policy to The Tyee last week. According to StatsCan, BC now has the highest overall poverty rate in Canada, despite its wealth of natural and human resources.