Manitoba’s minimum wage is set to rise at the rate of inflation each fall, unless the government orders otherwise.
Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen announced Monday that the bill would generally index the minimum wage each Oct. 1 to the rate of inflation over the previous calendar year. That would raise the rate to $11.15 an hour this fall, after the province froze it at $11 per hour last year.
“What Manitobans are looking for is certainty and predictability and we believe indexing the minimum wage will provide that certainty,” said Cullen.
But the hike isn’t guaranteed. There would be no pay increase or decrease if inflation doesn’t rise. And it allows a cabinet order to prevent the wage hike when “economic indicators warrant,” listing a recession or forecasted recession as possible examples.
“If we get into a situation where we have an economic recession, that may be something government may want to consider at that time,” said Cullen.
Cullen did note he’s open to hearing public feedback on whether or not the exemption should be more strictly limited.
Either way, labour advocates say the hike falls far short of what’s needed.
The Manitoba Federation of Labour, for example, has called for the wage to reach $15.53 an hour instead. Kevin Rebeck, the MFL’s president, said the indexed raises will keep wages well below that level.
“This keeps people in poverty….
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