RE: BC Minimum Wage Recommendation Letter to Premier
On March 1, 2023, the Coalition of Associations that includes TIABC sent a letter to Premier Eby, expressing concerns regarding the pending increase in a minimum wage increase this year.
The letter explains that the undersigned associations are hearing persistent concerns from a wide variety of firms, especially consumer-facing businesses, that they cannot absorb another significant increase on top of all the other government mandated costs and other inflationary input cost increases in 2023. The increase is likely in the range of 6-7%.
The letter also states that “another significant minimum wage increase will force businesses to raise the wages of all employees to maintain relative wages and to deal with wage compression where new inexperienced employees are paid the same as more experienced employees. This ‘ratcheting effect’ leaves employees no further ahead on a relative basis and, in fact, may result in fewer opportunities for workers, may trigger business closures, or lead to more mechanized work where this is a viable option.”
The coalition strongly recommends that the province cap this year’s minimum wage increase at 3% recognizing the labour cost increases that businesses are already struggling to absorb and that the BC government should also consider implementing minimum wage adjustment support programs that offer small business rebates to help minimize additional cost pressures of minimum wage increases similar to what both Newfoundland and Manitoba have implemented.