Committee still recommends minimum-wage hike - Metro US

Committee still recommends minimum-wage hike

A provincial review committee is continuing to recommend the government proceed with plans to increase the minimum wage at two different points in 2010.

In 2008, Nova Scotia’s minimum wage review committee developed a three-year minimum-wage increase schedule calling for a hike from $8.60 to $9.20 per hour on April 1, followed by a second increase to $9.65 on Oct. 1.

A government release issued yesterday said the committee has reviewed that decision and is recommending to the province that it moves forward with it.

The decision was based on several factors, the release said, including economic conditions, labour trends and the changing value of minimum wage.

The government hasn’t made a final decision on whether to accept the recommendations, but must do so within 60 days. Marilyn More, minister of labour and workforce development, is asking for the public’s input on the issue through Jan 22.

The committee’s report is available online at gov.ns.ca/lwd.

One group campaigning against both minimum-wage increases is the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. It is calling on the province to extend when the increases would take place by at least a year.

“About half our members do support increasing the minimum wage, but they believe it’s too quick,” said CFIB spokesman Bradley George. “I mean, there will be a 27 per cent increase in two years if we follow the current schedule.”

Past increases
If both minimum wage increases go through, they’ll follow a 6.5 per cent hike on May 1, 2008 — to $8.10 per hour — and a 6.2 per cent increase last April 1.

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