Here are the answers to several common questions about the Fight for $15 campaign and BC's minimum wage. If you have other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Why $15?
- What is the minimum wage in BC?
- How is the minimum wage different from the living wage?
- Isn't the minimum wage the same for everyone in BC?
We believe work should lift you out of poverty. That is why we have chosen the target of $15. Fifteen dollars per hour would put a minimum wage worker above the poverty line on all the standard measures of poverty (Low Income Cut-Off (LICO), Low Income Measure and Market Basket) using a 35-hour work week and a projected inflation rate of 2 per cent per year. If a $15 wage was achieved in 2015, it would put BC workers 10% above the LICO and give them a fair chance to pay for the most basic necessities.
In their recent submission to the Ontario Minimum Wage review panel, the Canadian Centre for Policy alternatives used 60 per cent of the average industrial wage as a benchmark for the provincial minimum wage. They say this ratio would bring “minimum wage in line with European policies and would track closely with the minimum wages of France, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium and Ireland.”
The average industrial wage in BC as of August 2014 is $899.97 weekly or $46,798.44 annually. This is a 3 per cent increase over the previous year. Our target of $15 falls at 58 per cent of the average industrial wage in BC.
The minimum wage in BC is $10.25. It will rise to $10.45 in September of 2015. However liquor servers will be paid only $9.20 and farm workers are paid a piece rate depending on how much they pick. The BCFED believes there should be one fair minimum wage for all workers in BC.
The minimum wage is a statutory requirement contained in the Employment Standards Act. It is the lowest wage that an employer can legally pay an employee in any community in BC. The Employment Standards Act currently sets out separate minimum wages for liquor servers and farm workers.
The living wage is an opt-in campaign targeted at convincing progressive employers to pay their employees a wage that will allow workers to purchase the basic necessities. The living wage is calculated for a family of four based on the actual costs in the community the business is based. The living wage calculation is updated for each community on an annual basis. For more information visit their website here.
No. Liquor servers will be paid a minimum wage of $9.20 as of September 2015 and farm workers are paid at a piece rate. The BCFED believes the liquor server and farm worker rates should be eliminated, so there is one fair minimum wage for everyone.