The province has mapped out the next steps toward a $15 minimum wage by 2018, following several weeks of consultation with us.
The increases to minimum wage moves nearly 300,000 Albertans closer to earning a living wage for their families and provide certainty to businesses.
Alberta’s general minimum wage will rise $1 to $12.20 per hour, and the current liquor server rate will be removed, effective Oct. 1 of this year.
The province’s labour minister, Christina Gray, says her ministry received a massive amount of feedback from right across Alberta about boosting the minimum wage.
“Albertans who work full-time should be able to live with dignity, and that means being able to afford rent, food and transportation for their families. This plan for Alberta’s minimum wage provides long-term certainty to employers and workers.”
Susan Morrissey, executive director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council, says the hike helps workers in all age brackets.
“Profiles of low-wage earners show that most are not teenagers with entry level jobs, but rather adults (20 years of age or older) with responsibilities for maintaining a household. The Edmonton Social Planning Council wants the province to stick to its commitment of increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2018, as there’s ample evidence of the benefits in reducing poverty and inequality and sustaining economic growth.”
Brad Lazarenko, the owner of Edmonton’s Culina Restaurant, supports the jump.
“In my experience as a restaurant owner, higher wages for valuable employees garners longer staff retention, reduces training costs and consequently improves overall staff morale, which benefits customers and colleagues alike. It’s incumbent upon us as employers to ensure that our people are paid enough to support their families, pay their mortgages and rents and feed themselves.”
The minimum wage rises an additoonal $1.40 to $13.60 per hour on Oct. 1, 2017, and by $1.40 to $15 per hour, on Oct. 1, 2018.