On behalf of the 17,500 PSAC members that live and work in BC, it gives me great pleasure to endorse the Fight for $15 Minimum Wage Campaign that is being coordinated by the BC Federation of Labour.
An increase to the minimum wage will help reduce poverty and inequality in our province - one of the richest in Canada - and will have a positive impact on the economy.
The current minimum wage is $10.25 per hour. As of June 1 2015 BC will have the 9th lowest minimum wage of all the provinces and territories, while the cost of living - particularly in the Lower Mainland - remains comparatively high.
Statistics show that 6.4% of workers in BC – over 120,000 people – earn only this minimum wage and live below the poverty line. 47% of these workers are over age 25, 63% are women, and nearly 10,000 are over 55 years old.
The negative effects of poverty on society and on worker’s health has been well documented. However, there are also economic benefits: by increasing the purchasing power of low income earners, who spend a large percentage - if not all – of their earnings locally, local businesses and economies will see a boost.
BC must follow the lead of places like Seattle and San Francisco, where governments and employers alike have recognized the value of an increase to the minimum wage.
I encourage members throughout our Union to join with the BC Fed, affiliates, and community groups to support the campaign. For more information and to find out how, visit fightfor15bc.ca.
Together we can make British Columbia a better place for all!
Bob Jackson, REVP BC