$15/hour Minimum Wage Increase Announced Today

Today, endorsing a report from the Fair Wages Commission, Premier John Horgan and Minister of Labour Harry Bains announced that BC’s minimum wage will be increasing to at least $15.20 per hour by June 1st, 2021.

This increase to the minimum wage will occur in four stages starting on June 1st of this year.  The schedule of increases to the hourly minimum wage that the province has indicated are:

June 1, 2018: Increase to $12.65 ($1.30 increase)
June 1, 2019: Increase to $13.85 ($1.20 increase)
June 1, 2020: Increase to $14.60 ($0.75 increase)
June 1, 2021: Increase to $15.20 ($0.60 increase) 

Over the past several months, the BBOT has actively engaged on this issue and with the Fair Wages Commission; our member-driven advocacy committee reviewed the proposed increase to the minimum wage, and we surveyed our full membership on their thoughts. The results of this work was summarized in a report entitled “Getting to 15” which we released in November and which we presented in-person to the Fair Wages Commission.

While the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) and the majority of our members support increasing the minimum wage,—including to $15/hour—the way in which those increases occur is important.

The BBOT acknowledges that these increases will be spread out over 3.5 years and have been published in advance, which does give business some time to plan and adjust.  However, we are disappointed that a longer timeline was not implemented and that the increases are so front-loaded, with a $2.50 increase within the next 16 months.  For some of our members this will be a hardship.

The BBOT had advocated for a slow, steady increase to the minimum wage made via equal, annual installments to allow businesses time to adjust, and to mitigate against sudden wage inflation all along the wage scale—what we deemed the minimum wage “knock-on effect.”

If you would like to share your thoughts on this or any issue impacting your business, please feel free to contact Cory Redekop, BBOT’s manager of policy and stakeholder relations at cory@bbot.ca.

To read the BBOT’s “Getting to 15” report, click here.
To read the Fair Wages Commission’s report, click here.
For the government’s official announcement, visit the BC Government News site here.