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  • How to make NAFTA sustainable, equitable July 19, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is consulting Canadians on their priorities for, and concerns about, the planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood point out how NAFTA has failed to live up to its promise with respect to job and productivity […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What’s next for BC? July 4, 2017
    Five weeks ago the CCPA-BC began a letter to our supporters with this statement: “What an interesting and exciting moment in BC politics! For a bunch of policy nerds like us at the CCPA, it doesn’t get much better than this.” At the time, we were writing about the just-announced agreement between the BC NDP […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Could skyrocketing private sector debt spell economic crisis? June 21, 2017
    Our latest report finds that Canada is racking up private sector debt faster than any other advanced economy in the world, putting the country at risk of serious economic consequences. The report, Addicted to Debt, reveals that Canada has added $1 trillion in private sector debt over the past five years, with the corporate sector […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The energy industry’s insatiable thirst for water threatens First Nations’ treaty-protected rights June 21, 2017
    Our latest report looks at the growing concerns that First Nations in British Columbia have with the fossil fuel industry’s increasing need for large volumes of water for natural gas fracking operations. Titled Fracking, First Nations and Water: Respecting Indigenous rights and better protecting our shared resources, it describes what steps should be taken to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Betting on Bitumen: Alberta's energy policies from Lougheed to Klein June 8, 2017
    The role of government in Alberta, both involvement and funding, has been critical in ensuring that more than narrow corporate interests were served in the development of the province’s bitumen resources.  A new report contrasts the approaches taken by two former premiers during the industry’s early development and rapid expansion periods.  The Lougheed government invested […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Workers Link $15 Minimum Wage to Decent Work

Wednesday April 15th is a global day of action on a $15 minimum wage and decent work. Actions are happening across the U.S., and in BC, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.

Both in the US and in Canada, workers are making links between decent wages and other employment standards.  The Ontario campaign is named $15 and Fairness, calling for a “$15 minimum wage, and decent hours, paid sick days, respect at work, and rules that protect all of us.”

We thought this would be a great time to release a report written by Gwen Suprovich, a PAID intern at the CLC. The Minimum Wage in Canada reviews the demographics of minimum wage workers in Canada, and the methods that provinces use to determine minimum wages.

Gwen finds that minimum wage earners in Canada don’t fit the stereotype of teenagers in their first job. The majority are over 20, not in school, and one in six have a child at home. The proportion of minimum wage workers employed by large employers (more than 500) has grown from 30% in 1998 to over 45% in 2013.

Gwen notes the lack of federal leadership in setting the minimum wage, and finds that most provinces use mechanisms that are not transparent and lack accountability. While several provinces have review boards, only Nova Scotia requires the board’s reports to be released publicly. (Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan do release their reports online, but are not required to do so.) Review boards can be effective, but must be transparent and government’s must be accountable to their findings.

In terms of policy recommendations, Gwen finds that the minimum wage should be set at a level that would keep a full-time worker above the poverty line. To reduce the impact on business, increases should be announced well in advance. Once wages reach a livable level, they should be indexed to inflation.

Our case for raising the minimum wage is well supported by a CCPA report out of BC, The Case for Increasing the Minimum Wage, which noted that the minimum wage could be a useful tool for reducing poverty, as long as it was set sufficiently high.

Maybe I’ll see you out in the streets tomorrow.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: April 14, 2015, 8:28 pm

Minimum wages 101
http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=1010

OECD (2006) finds that:

There is no significant correlation between unemployment and employment protection legislation;
The level of the minimum wage has no significant direct impact on unemployment

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