Fair Wage Commission to Be Established
Prince George, B.C. – In addition to announcing the implementation of a 50 cent an hour boost to the minimum wage as of Sept. 15th, Provincial Minister of Labour Harry Bains says a Fair Wages Commission is being established.
Bains says the terms of reference and who will be on the commission have yet to be decided, but he believes it will be tasked with “setting the pathway to a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage.”
Even if the minimum wage reaches the NDP promised target of $15 dollars an hour in four years, that may still be well behind what the “living wage” is for many communities in B.C.
The living wage is how much a person needs to bring home based on the actual costs of living in a specific community. The Living Wage varies from community to community, for example, in Prince George, the current living wage is pegged at $16.39 an hour. In Vancouver that amount is $20.62 an hour. Here is the living wage in other communities:
- Kamloops $16.90
- Northeast ( Dawson Creek, Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd) $18.29 per hour
- Terrace: $18.17
- Williams Lake: $15.77
Bains says the Fair Wages Commission will also look at “How could we find some strategies to deal with the discrepancies between the minimum wage and the living wage?”
While the minimum wage hike may not meet the living wage, Bains says the NDP are doing other things to reduce the cost of living, such as eliminating bridge tolls, eliminating MSP premiums, freezing hydro rates and creating new child care spaces.
The Commission will be expected to present its first report within 90 days of its first meeting.
Further details on the Commission will be announced in the next few weeks