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andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

My statement on the Fair Wages Commission announcement

Today the government announced its intention to use a new at-arm’s-length Fair Wages Commission to establish a pathway to a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour. The Fair Wages Commission will further be tasked with overseeing regular rate reviews. The commission will bring forward recommendations regarding strategies to address the discrepancy between minimum wages and livable wages. It will make its first report on a new minimum wage within 90 days of its first meeting.

The establishment of a Fair Wages Commission was a key element of the B.C. Greens 2017 election platform and was included in the Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA).  Below I provide my comments on the BC Government’s announcement.


Media Statement


Weaver statement on Fair Wages Commission announcement
For immediate release
August 15, 2017

VICTORIA, BC – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus, issued the following statement today in response to the government’s announcement that it plans to use the Fair Wages Commission to achieve a minimum wage of $15/hour by 2021. The establishment of a Fair Wages Commission was a key element of the B.C. Greens 2017 election platform and was included in the Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) signed by Dr. Weaver and Premier Horgan.

“Although I am pleased to see an important piece of our agreement move forward, I am concerned that the apparent addition of a 2021 timeline is prejudicial to the work of the Fair Wages Commission. The Commission falls under the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC NDP and BC Green caucuses. The 2021 timeline had not been agreed upon and is, in fact, contradictory to the intention of depoliticizing the Fair Wages Commission.

“The Fair Wages Commission should determine the timeline for minimum wage increases based on evidence and through consultation with stakeholders. The Commission must consult with small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, to ensure they can continue to thrive. The timeline and wage increases should not be made for political purposes and should not be arbitrarily set in advance.

“British Columbians are facing skyrocketing costs of living and increasing income insecurity as the economy changes rapidly. Minimum wage is just one way we can move towards all British Columbians having a liveable income. The Fair Wages Commission must be empowered to make recommendations at arms-length based on evidence to ensure that wage increases create better income security for all British Columbians.”

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

2 Comments

  1. Judith kemp-
    September 19, 2017 at 7:53 am

    My comment is directed at the minimum wage exemption that exisits in the hospitlality industry. Is it true that any establishment that sells alcohol alongside food is not required to pay the serviving staff minimum wage? Is it also true that most establishments in Vancouver continue to charge their wervers a “tipping out fee?” This fee ranges from 5 to 7 %. This fee is collected on the basis of sales. For example if a server sells $1,000 worth of product during an 8 hour shift he/she is required to pay 5 to 7 percent of the sales amount to the business owner/manager. ” A typical scenario: In walk 6 students who take up a table space for two hours based on purchasing a plate of poutine and a 6 beer sampler, they leave no tip.” A server making less than minimum wage will have to take monies out of their wages if they do not earn 5-7% in tips. The industry norm has and continues to be that a server shares a portion of their tips with chef, kitchen staff and the bar tender. This still takes place. But in addition the “tipping out fee”. Has been indiscreetly mandated in many establishments. Servers who have objected have lost their jobs. Every customer who is leaving a tip should be enquiring as to whether the business has a tipping out fee. And, our government should look for ways to support and monitor small business owners to prevent this kind of $ scheming. It seems our previous scheming Liberal government elitist strokes were dealt out to lowest wage earners empowering business owner to pass on very demeaning management systems.

  2. August 15, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    In similar fashion to how myself, a staunch Green supporter, do not subscribe 100% to all BC Green policy/platform items, neither too must Weaver/BCGcaucus of opposition MLAs 100% support/agree with NDP Govt policy. Confidence & Supply or not.

    Case in point. I think “minimum wage” is a terribly misguided approach to poverty reduction. It was in fact the single issue that I disliked about Christy Clark’s BCL leadership campaign 2010/11.

    Akin to “science based wildlife mgmt” > “populist species mgmt” — the comission (#bcpoli C&S secretariat checks the box) should seek economists’ advice and statistical evidence, modelling…

    So, good on you, AJW – keep up the great work as the only active leader of an opposition caucus, countering cabinet decisions, speaking truth to power.
    Today, I tend to agree with you.

    Folks out there. We need lower employment taxes (higher personal exemptions) , lower property taxes (e.g. 500sf per adult, grant rebate), and a freer market. Paid for by consumption taxes: carbon, goods, road usage, imports.

    “Livable wage” (if not as guaranteed basic income) should be applied regionally, because there is no way The Gap survives in Williams Lake under this NDP 2021 scenario.