April 3rd, 2018

NDP amend minimum wage bill to include protections for workers

Bill would increase minimum wage over three years.

HALIFAX – The NDP Caucus will introduce legislation today that would set the minimum wage to increase over three years, bringing Nova Scotia to a $15 minimum wage by 2021. It would also protect workers from changes to their benefits by adding a section to the Labour Standards Act defining a reduction in benefits, services, or privileges as a reduction in wages.

“This year in Ontario, we saw a number of prominent and profitable employers cut paid breaks and reduce benefits for their minimum wage employees. These amendments would help protect workers so those kinds of things couldn’t happen in reaction to a minimum wage increase,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill.

The minimum wage in Nova Scotia increased by 15 cents on Sunday. At the rate of 15 cents a year it would take over 26 years to reach a $15 minimum wage.

“Nova Scotia has one of the lowest minimum wages in the country. People cannot afford the things they need to live when they’re making $11 an hour,” said Burrill. “This weekend’s increase amounts to $6 a week for someone working 40 hours a week, which is not what we need to build a stable economy.”

The province of Alberta will be the first in the country to reach a $15 minimum wage, later this year. Ontario’s minimum wage will hit $15 on January 1, 2019.

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