The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is renewing their calls for the province to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
This comes after the Canadian government announced federally-regulated employees are now eligible for a $15 an hour minimum wage.
SFL spokesperson Eric Bell says it’s about time.
“The federal government has been talking about doing this for a while, and it’s good to see,” Bell said. “It’ll only affect about 20,000 federally-regulated employees across the country, but still it’s great news for those workers and their families.”
Bell says this sets a precedent.
“We’re hoping that while it doesn’t affect too many workers in Saskatchewan that it will hopefully be a message to our provincial government that we need to do better when it comes to our provincial minimum wage,” Bell said. “Saskatchewan has the lowest minimum wage in the country, and that needs to change.”
While the common belief is a sharp increase like this would result in a rise in the cost of living, Bell says that isn’t always the case.
“There’s been multiple studies in places where they have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, Alberta’s done it, B.C. now has a $15 an hour minimum wage, and so far that hasn’t played out to be the case.”
Labour Relations Minister Don Morgan says the province currently uses an indexation formula to calculate the minimum wage providing a fair, consistent and predictable increase every year. Morgan adds the province has also decreased the personal income tax rate and increased the Saskatchewan Low Income Tax Credit to help low wage earners keep more of their money.