Time to raise minimum wage is now, NDP says

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Island NDP leader Mike Redmond

The Island’s NDP is calling on the provincial government to stop delaying action on the report of the Employment Standards Board concerning the Island’s minimum wage rate.

In November 2013, NDP Leader Mike Redmond along with NDP federal council representative Joe Byrne submitted a report to the Employment Standards Board calling for minimum wage increases, ongoing analysis of impacts of higher wages on business development and economic growth, and action towards a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) for all Islanders.

“We know the cabinet has had the report of the Employment Standards Board for well over a month now. Let’s stop delaying this,” said Redmond.

“The minimum wage has to go up to at least $10.30 right now and be increased steadily over time.

 “When the legislature opens, the government and the official opposition should get straight to work on achieving livable incomes for everybody. But right now the Liberal cabinet can and should increase the minimum wage and give Islanders some relief on the high cost of living in this province.”

Organizations: Employment Standards Board, NDP federal council

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Recent comments

  • Mike
    March 21, 2014 - 11:55

    Leave and go west I ve been doing it for 25 yrs

  • To David
    March 21, 2014 - 07:37

    So workers are suppose to work for $10 dollars an hour to make the owner of a business happy. If you run a business pay people a decent salary so they can stay working for you and feed and clothe their families.

  • consumed
    March 21, 2014 - 07:10

    Minimum wage in Toronto,10.00.. (set to go up). On P.E.I. It's a catch 22. People unable to survive on mim. wage,and business unable to pay more.Maybe gov. needs to focus its' charities on the real small businesses on this island as opposed to those who get their grants and p.n.p. money, and then close shop..

  • Long Term Employee
    March 21, 2014 - 04:14

    As a long term employee, I started at a good wage and got regular raises. Then minimum wage went up, but my pay didn't. Soon I was "capped" and now after several years, employees who have been here a third of the time, are now making the same wages as I am. As a mature worker, hard for me to leave a company when employers are looking for students to hire under wage programs. Work at lowering the cost of necessary items, instead for raising minimum wage.

  • don
    March 20, 2014 - 20:38

    our wages should go up like ghiz and wes does every few months. wages goes up the sale price of everything goes up to cover the wage increase.

  • danny
    March 20, 2014 - 19:14

    raising the minimum wage isn't a bad thing, but this province/country would be a better place if the rich paid their fare share, and stopped getting better tax breaks and hand outs from the government.

  • Bill Shepard
    March 20, 2014 - 19:08

    This is the second news story I read today in which Mr. Redmond's comments makes no sense what-so-ever. The first being relating to the article dealing with the city of Summerside donating money to federal and provincial political party events. Here Mr. Redmond states the NDP did invite municipalities to its big fundraiser last year and confirmed that Summerside had contributed to the event. In the next breath Redmond follows up with he thinks there should be a rule against taxpayer dollars funding parties. That ""their money would be much better spent on education, health, and local charities than it would be on feeling compelled to support political parties." Hello, Earth to Mr, Redmond, if you don't agree with the practice above mentioned why did you become a willing participant in it yourself. Second item, increasing the minimum wage. Mr. Redmond did you discuss this revelation with the small business owners who operate corner stores and "Mom and Pop" restaurants and such? Their bottom line is stretched enough with expanding other operating cost, Who wouldn't want higher wages for their work, but at the cost of putting a "out of business" sign on the window? Putting the wage earner on the unemployment line and the business owner in bankruptcy. The NDP's biggest Achilles heal is their economic sense or better yet lack there of, Mr. Redmond proves this notion beautifully.

    • We are talking small amounts
      March 21, 2014 - 11:00

      Bill, let's have a look at mom and pop stores that you are so concerned about. Let's assume that each one has five minimum wage employees. Considering the owners work in the stores too, this is a high number but what the heck! Let's use five. If each of the five employees works for 40 hours per week that amounts to 200 paid employee hours per week. At $10 per hour, that is $2,000 in wages. At $10.30 per hour, that is $2,060 in wages. Not a lot of money but would make a difference for the employee. Now, I know that the employer is now paying employer contributions on $2,060 instead of $2,000 but the amount would be miniscule. Bill, could you live on $10 an hour. I couldn't and I don't live beyond my means or anything. I'm just trying to survive.

  • david
    March 20, 2014 - 15:49

    Easy to tell this guy has NO business experience. Great to see people who say raise the minimum wage who have their whole lives either living on the taxpayers dime or else working for other people but never actually running a business.

    • Valerie Keefe
      March 20, 2014 - 19:20

      Well maybe you'll listen to a trained economist who spent the last year with a small retailer that enjoyed a 30% year over year sales increase and is described in reference letter from the aforementioned employer as "[having] an excellent sense of how to increase profitability." Probably you won't because it'd get in the way of any agenda you want to push, but here goes: The labour market is characterized by excessive leverage on the hiring side. I pass on an employee, I may lose the chance to make a little money. An employee passes on a job offer, they lose the chance to make rent. This produces significant distortions in the labour market which drives wages below what they'd be in a classically free market. That drives down employment, and output too. I'll note that in 2000, both Canada and the US had largely similar minimum wage levels, about 15% of GDP/hour worked. Canadian provinces dramatically increased the minimum wage, which now sits in a band of 20-23% of productivity, depending on the province. The US allowed their Minimum Wage to decline in productivity and real terms, now just over 11% of GDP per hour worked. Canadian 15-64 employment increased dramatically. American 15-64 employment fell. And you can't thank exports for that, as Canada now is running a trade deficit as large in GDP terms as the Americans are. As Adam Smith has said (in not so many words), when you pay people well... they work.

    • Wrong
      March 20, 2014 - 22:40

      Typical response from the uninformed. I have been running businesses all of my life and clearly you have never run one yourself david. Minimum wage increases put money directly into the economy and help all businesses. Of course there are the greedy who don't give a crap about employees, only about a few extra dollars in their own pockets but those so called business people should be weeded out and boycotted for their greed.

    • Patrick
      March 20, 2014 - 22:57

      so true!

    • Question
      March 21, 2014 - 09:32

      So, if artificially raising minimum wage puts money into the economy and everyone benefits from the workers to the business owner, then what is wrong with raising the minimum wage to $20? I'm sorry, Val, but if you keep chugging Friedman's kool-aid and treating a free market economy like you're trying to split the atom, then you're missing the point of Adam Smith.

    • Valerie Keefe
      March 21, 2014 - 16:19

      Well, disingenuous "Question," $20/hour would represent something like 40% of GDP per hour. This would likely be above the marginal productivity of many low-prerequisite workers and thus you would likely see significant disemployment effects. Though it should be noted that in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States' federal minimum wage was around 30% of productivity without significant disemployment (actually the proportion of 15-64s working over the following decade went up, but as they were all clamouring to get into employment, that friction showed up as a spike in the headline unemployment numbers). 30% of GDP/hour would be about $14-15 if memory serves, so we could likely carry that kind of wage without reducing the number of jobs. And it would also have the effect of placing upward wage pressure on median income jobs as well. See, this tiresome, childish argument you've advanced, while remaining nameless, is like saying "Well if you think someone recovering from anorexia nervosa should increase their calorie intake to 2,500 per day, why not 5,000?" Your question indicates a fundamental unseriousness and unwillingness to understand that there are, indeed, "Goldilocks numbers" where a regulation is indeed, just right, or at least better than an unfettered market would be. Just as there is an optimum level of caloric consumption for health, and in some people's case more is better, or less is better, it does not follow that infinity or zero are better options. So, you know, grow up just a tad?

    • Another
      March 21, 2014 - 19:54

      Another typical response of the clueless. Why not pay them $20? Why not pay them $100 per hour. Try educating yourself before responding. Better to remain silent and have people think you are a fool then to speak and remove all doubt.