Sask. minimum wage now the lowest in Canada

On Oct. 1 Saskatchewan’s minimum wage increased to $13 per hour and moved from second last place to a last place ranking in Canada.

With the country’s lowest minimum wage is it any wonder that employers in some sectors are having difficulty in recruiting workers? Undesirable working conditions are also major factor in quite a number of sectors, so all-in-all it’s time employers stepped up their game.

As calculated by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the new minimum wage in Saskatchewan is a around $3.50 per hour lower than a living wage. Much more needs to be done to improve the lot of wage earners in the face of rising costs of living and declining standards of living.

Band aids won’t fix low wages in Saskatchewan and Canada.

We need consistent long-term solutions and securing the right to bargain over wages and working conditions by joining as union is one of them.

Employers who are committed to scheduled wage increases of 2 to 3 percent need to do a reality check and boost wages by considerably more to retain employees. There’s a significant shift underway in the labour market and employers who aren’t ahead of the curve will end up crying for workers.