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Byrne says N.L. minimum wage going to $11/hr in 2017

Advanced Education and Skills Minister Gerry Byrne.
Advanced Education and Skills Minister Gerry Byrne.

The minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador will increase to $10.75/hour in April, and then up to $11/hour in October of next year, Advanced Eduction, Skills and Labour Minister Gerry Byrne announced today.

Byrne also said that he’s launching a round of consultations which will look for a method to peg the minimum wage to some measure of inflation, so it will go up over time as the cost of living rises.

“Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador has the lowest minimum wage rate in Canada and that is not where we want workers in this province to be,” Byrne said in a news release. “Establishing minimum wage is always a matter of balance and anytime we plan to adjust the minimum wage, we must look at it from the perspective of both employees and employers.”

The news release from government said it’s important to bring the N.L. minimum wage in line with other provinces before launching the consultation process so that businesses and workers can plan for what’s going to happen.

All of this comes just a week after Byrne was questioned in the House of Assembly about the province’s minimum wage, and the fact that N.L. is lower than any other province.

At the time, Byrne revealed that he had personally done informal consultations with the N.L. Federation of Labour, employer groups, poverty advocates and women’s rights representatives.

Aside from Byrne personally speaking to those people, though, there have been no formal consultations done by government before the decision was announced to raise the minimum wage by 50 cents.

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