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.