Manitoba government hints at minimum wage hike
WINNIPEG The Manitoba government is hinting at an increase to the province’s minimum wage following a freeze last year and another deadlock between labour and management advisers.
The Progressive Conservative government is to announce a new minimum wage to replace the current $11 hourly rate “in the very near future,” said Cliff Cullen, the province’s minister for growth, enterprise and trade.
A labour-management review committee failed to reach consensus on the issue in 2015. Worker representatives called for a sharp rise and management officials called for a freeze.
The committee was tasked with taking another run at the question late last year, but it has once again failed to come to an agreement.
“We did hear back and ... (there was) not a consensus. There was some agreement on certain components, so we’re taking all that advisement and we’re going to try to come up with a solution for all Manitobans,” Cullen said Friday.
The rate could be automatically adjusted every year using a formula yet to be determined, he said. Some provinces increase their minimum wage along with the inflation rate, while Saskatchewan uses a combination of the inflation rate and the rate of change in the average hourly pay of all workers.
Kevin Rebeck, president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, said he would like to see the minimum wage go up to $15.23 an hour over the course of a few years.
Management representatives, however, have told the province Manitoba’s rate already compares favourably with other jurisdictions.