Manitoba seeks another wage hike in April

Government cites 'extraordinarily high inflation'

Manitoba seeks another wage hike in April

The Manitoba government wants to increase the minimum hourly wage of workers to $14.15 in April ahead of the planned increase in October. 

Labour Minister Reg Helwer attributed the decision to the "extraordinarily high inflation in recent months." Manitoba recently recorded an 8.1% inflation rate in September 2022, an uptick from the eight per cent posted in August, according to the Manitoba Bureau of Statistics.

"This increase to the minimum wage would assist lower-income Manitobans in dealing with the current economic realities as appropriate and necessary," the minister said.

The new increase, as per the Minimum Wage Adjustment Act, is part of the second phase of the government's commitment to hike the minimum wage in the province to $15 by October 1, 2023.  

"This phased-in approach to raising the minimum wage would help relieve some of the economic pressures on Manitoba workers while lessening the impact on small businesses' bottom lines as much as possible," Helwer said.

The proposed wage hike follows a recent increase in the province to $13.50 on October 1, 2022. It also comes after the passing of a bill that authorizes the government to implement a larger increase to the minimum wage when inflation rate spikes.

"We will continue to tie the wage to economic indicators, and in this way maintain purchasing power, stability and predictability for employers," Helwer said.

The government recently announced a Small Business Minimum Wage Adjustment Program to assist employers amid the wage hikes. The assistance is set to end on March 31, 2023.

In reaction to the increase, the Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) has continued to advocate for a wage of $16.15 per hour, with MFL president Kevin Rebeck previously saying Manitobans "deserve better."

"They need more help from this government to keep up with all the rising prices and costs," Rebeck said in August.

 

 

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