WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has indicated its intention to increase minimum wage from $10.20 per hour to $15.00 per hour within 3 years;
WHEREAS the proposed 47% hike in minimum wage does not recognize Alberta’s low tax environment within Canada in which the after-tax minimum wage rate is currently the second highest in Canada;
WHEREAS according to information provided by the Government of Alberta, approximately 50% of those earning minimum wage are between 15 and 24 years of age, 55% are working part-time, 50% live with their parents, less than 10% were the head of a household and only 1.5% are single parents with children;
WHEREAS according to research conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, a 47% increase in minimum wage will result in a decrease in youth employment, a reduction in entry-level jobs, a reduction in work hours and a reduction of benefits to employees;
WHEREAS the proposed minimum wage increase will disproportionately affect small businesses and non-profit organizations and will negatively impact businesses of all sizes due to a ripple effect which will occur within the wage structure within the organizations of all employers within Alberta;
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta should consider other causes of poverty which include both individual and social responsibilities that include but are not limited to; high school completion rates, employment training programs, programs to assist in relocation for employment purposes and other platforms that will assist low income earners to increase personal earning potential;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Government of Alberta to reconsider its intention to increase the minimum wage in Alberta.
The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.
Labour: The Government of Alberta (GOA) promised to implement a minimum wage of $15 per hour to improve the income of those who earn minimum wage. Work should pay enough to allow people to take care of their own families, and too many people are going to work every day but are unable to make ends meet.
In June 2015, the GOA consulted with key stakeholders from employer and employee organizations, social advocacy groups and academics to hear their concerns and advice, including the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties. As a first step, Alberta’s minimum wage increased by $1 to $11.20 per hour and the liquor server minimum wage increased by $1.50, from $9.20 to $10.70 per hour, effective October 1, 2015. The differential wage rate for liquor servers will be phased out completely in 2016.
This increase is the first step in a multi-year process to follow through on government’s commitment to increasing Alberta’s minimum wage. The GOA has also introduced the Job Creation Incentive Program and are bringing back the Summer Temporary Employment Program.
The GOA is mindful of the possible effects minimum wage increases could have on workers and business owners in Alberta and the concerns which have been expressed about the increases. Government will continue to listen to all perspectives on this important issue, monitor the situation closely and work with our partners to assess the effects of increases on workers and on jobs as we move forward.
The GOA will ensure to provide businesses with adequate time to make operational adjustments for each increase. More information on Alberta’s minimum wage can be found at www.work.alberta.ca/minimumwage.
While the Government of Alberta response to this resolution indicates a willingness to consider and attempt to mitigate negative economic impacts that a minimum wage increase may have on businesses and public sector employers such as municipalities, it makes no indication of reconsidering the increase. As a result, this resolution is assigned a status of Intent Not Met, and the AAMDC looks forward to working with Alberta Labour to ensure that the increase does not negatively impact municipalities and businesses in rural Alberta.