Low-income Albertans will take another significant step toward a living wage on Saturday, October 1 when the province’s general minimum wage goes up $1 per hour.
Labour Minister Christina Gray meets with Dwane Kunitz of Kunitz Shoes at the downtown Edmonton store. The two discuss the minimum wage increase that goes into effect Oct. 1.
The increase will mark the second in a series of progressive steps that will give Alberta a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2018. The lower minimum wage for liquor servers will also be eliminated.
“Every Albertan working full time deserves to earn enough to provide the basics and live with dignity. Increasing minimum wage means fewer families having to visit the food bank to make ends meet. Albertans who see their wage increase will have more money to spend in the local economy on necessities like rent and groceries.”
-Christina Gray, Minister of Labour
“At Kunitz Shoes, healthy employment begins with the understanding that the employer recognizes its employees’ basic living needs. Throughout our history, our investments in wages and benefits have always resulted in increases to our bottom line.”
-Dwane Kunitz, co-founder, Kunitz Shoes
Alberta’s general minimum wage will increase from $11.20 to $12.20 per hour effective Oct.1. The lower liquor server rate of $10.70 per hour will be eliminated.
On June 30, the province announced how the $15 per hour goal by 2018 will be reached. In addition to the 2016 increase, the general minimum wage will rise by $1.40 to $13.60 per hour on Oct. 1, 2017, and a further $1.40 to $15 per hour on Oct. 1, 2018.
The weekly minimum wage for some salespersons, land agents and other professionals will also rise from $446 to $486. The monthly minimum wage for domestic employees who live in the employer’s residence will rise from $2,127 to $2,316. Maximum deductions below minimum wage for meals and lodging will remain at $3.35 per consumed meal and $4.41 per day’s lodging.
Alberta low-income earner facts
- Approximately 300,000 individuals in Alberta earn less than $15 per hour
- The majority of low-income earners, nearly 62 per cent, are female
- More than 78 per cent have permanent jobs; 54 per cent work full time and 38 per cent have children.
Employers and employees with questions about minimum wages can contact the Employment Standards Contact Centre at 780-427-3731, or toll-free at 1-877-427-3731 or visit www.work.alberta.ca/es