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Minimum Wage

City of Vancouver now a certified Living Wage employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

This is the City of Vancouver's June 8, 2017 news post on its website:

The City, Park Board, and Vancouver Police Department have taken steps to reduce inequality by becoming living wage employers, certified by the Living Wage for Families Campaign External website (LWFC), a Vancouver-based organization that has certified a range of employers.

Our living wage certification includes the City of Vancouver and Park Board staff and vendors.

The Vancouver Police Department submitted a separate application that was also approved at the same time.

The City of Vancouver joins several local governments in BC who have successfully implemented living wage policies:  read more »

Recap of changes proposed by Alberta to modernize workplace legislation

Jurisdiction: - Alberta
Sector: - All

Set out below are some of the key changes that will be made to Alberta's Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code if Bill 17 - the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, is passed.

The bill was introduced by the Alberta government on May 24, 2017, one day after Ontario released the final report in its "Changing Workplaces Review" which proposes amendments to Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995.

The proposed changes to Alberta's legislation are, according to the government, the result of previous government reviews as well as broad consultations with Albertans, employers, business organizations, labour organizations, municipalities, academics, and advocacy groups. The government states that more than 7,000 submissions were received. Alberta's Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code were both last updated in 1988.

In introducing the changes, the Alberta Minister of Labour, Christina Gray, stated:  read more »

Alberta taking steps to increase minimum wage to $15 by 2018

Topics: - Minimum Wage
Jurisdiction: - Alberta

On the same day that Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson called on the City of Vancouver to become a "living wage" employer, the new NDP provincial government in Alberta announced that the general minimum wage in that province will increase to $11.20 from $10.20 per hour effective October 1, 2015.

The Alberta government further noted that these are the "first steps towards a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2018" and Premier Rachel Notley is quoted as follows:

"Alberta's minimum wage is currently the lowest in the country, yet we have one of the highest costs of living. We promised Albertans we would raise minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018, and we will stick to that promise. We're taking a significant step towards our goal for 2015 and will continue this path in future years.

The June 29, 2015 news release can be found here: Minimum wage going up to $11.20 October 1.

Mayor Gregor Robertson calls for City of Vancouver to be "living wage" employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Local Government

The mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, issued the following news release today (June 29, 2015):

Mayor calls for Vancouver to become a Living Wage employer

"Saying it is important for the City of Vancouver to show leadership on reducing inequality, Mayor Gregor Robertson is bringing forward a motion to City Council this week calling on the City to become a living wage employer.

Noting that Vancouver will be joining a number of existing living wage employers, including Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, the City of New Westminster, SAP and the United Way, Robertson said the policy is a practical response to the fact that housing, transportation and living costs have been rising in the region while wages have stagnated.

The result is that more and more families are unable to make ends meet even if they have two jobs, exposing their children to poverty.  read more »

Uber appealing California Labor Commission's ruling that driver was an employee, not contractor

Jurisdiction: - United States
Sector: - Transportation

Uber posted this statement on its blog today (June 17, 2015) in response to the California Labor Commission's ruling that a driver was an employee, not a contractor, and thus entitled to be reimbursed for driving related expenses:

"Reuters' original headline was not accurate. The California Labor Commission's ruling is non-binding and applies to a single driver. Indeed it is contrary to a previous ruling by the same commission, which concluded in 2012 that the driver 'performed services as an independent contractor, and not as a bona fide employee.' Five other states have also come to the same conclusion. It's important to remember that the number one reason drivers choose to use Uber is because they have complete flexibility and control. The majority of them can and do choose to earn their living from multiple sources, including other ride sharing companies. We have appealed this ruling."

Two-thirds of British Columbians support a $15 an hour minimum wage, says BC Federation of Labour

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Federation of Labour issued the following news release today (April 1, 2015) concerning their campaign for a $15 minimum wage:

Two-thirds of British Columbians support a $15 an hour minimum wage

VANCOUVER - A recent poll shows the public is unsatisfied with the BC Liberal government's meager lift to the minimum wage, and continue to support the call for $15 an hour.

"This poll is evidence that Premier Clark and Minister Bond got it wrong when they increased the minimum wage a pathetic 20 cents," said Irene Lanzinger, President of the BC Federation of Labour.

A poll conducted by Insights West shows that two-thirds (68%) of
British Columbians continue to support increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"Despite the BC Liberals best efforts to convince the public otherwise, British Columbians do not think it's acceptable for a minimum wage worker to live in poverty," said Lanzinger. "78% of people agree it is necessary to ensure the minimum wage puts a worker above the poverty line."

Highlights of the poll include:  read more »

Business Council of British Columbia supports province's new minimum wage policy

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In a post yesterday, I noted that the BC Government issued a news release setting out the province's new approach to minimum wage increases: "BC indexing general minimum wage and liquor server wage to provincial Consumer Price Index".

The Business Council of British Columbia issued the following news release the same day that the government announced the new policy (March 12, 2015) expressing its support for the policy:

"The Business Council supports the government's decision today to implement a modest increase of the statutory minimum wage of $0.20 to $10.45 and to index future increases to the consumer price index as the Council has previously advocated," said Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Business Council of British Columbia.   read more »

BC to start indexing minimum wage to provincial Consumer Price Index

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Government issued the following news release on March 12, 2015:

The B.C. government is indexing increases in the general minimum hourly wage and liquor server wage to B.C.'s Consumer Price Index (CPI), Minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond announced today. 

The government is committed to reasonable and predictable yearly minimum wage increases linked to B.C. CPI. Going forward, from 2016 onward, the minimum wage will be determined using a formula calculated upon the percentage the B.C. Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in the previous calendar year. In years where there is a negative CPI change, the minimum wage would stay the same.

In addition, this indexing formula is being applied to the period since the last minimum wage increase in 2012. Effective Sept. 15, 2015, the general minimum hourly wage will increase from $10.25 to $10.45 and the liquor server wage from $9.00 to $9.20 per hour.  read more »