Business to see ripple effect from wage hike

  • Mar. 21, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Minimum wage officially goes up May 1, but for many West Shore businesses, paying more than $8 has been the norm for years.

Jennifer De Luca of Worklink in Colwood said she rarely sees entry-level jobs on the job board listing pay less than $9 or $10 per hour.

“Even in retail, the low-end is around $10,” De Luca said. “If employer wants somebody to work for $8, they’re probably going to have to advertise for a long time.”

She also pointed out that an employable single person living on income assistance is paid $620 per month, equivalent to working 20 hours per week at the current minimum wage.

“Higher wages will give more incentive for unemployed people to look for work,” De Luca said.

Days after being sworn in as premier, Christy Clark made good on her campaign promise to boost minimum wage, which has been frozen at $8 since 2001. The first of three-stage increases takes effect in May, upping it to $8.75. It hits $9 in November and $10.25 by May 2012.

Clark also canned the training wage that allowed employers to pay youth $6 for their first 500 hours. The only workers that won’t make the new wages are bartenders and servers working in a licensed premise.

A new “alcohol servers wage,” modeled after an Ontario standard, will have lower minimum of $9 after May 2012.

At Station House Pub in Langford, bar manager Darren Cross said because the pub already pays experienced staff at least $9, it won’t feel the impact of increased wages until next year when some kitchen staff will get a raise.

“We know we have to pay a fair wage to keep our staff around, that’s part of running a good business,” he said.

The restaurant industry has suffered in the last year with the introduction of stricter drinking and driving regulations and higher tax from the HST.  “We’re hoping things will rebound before this (wage increase) hits us too,” Cross said.

West Shore Chamber of Commerce president Kyara Kahakauwila, owner of LA Limosines in Langford, said it’s not just lowest wage earners that will expect to see an increase.

“Minimum wage is a benchmark, the ripple goes all the way up the chain,” she said. “Everybody will ask for a raise. It will definitely impact every business’s bottom line.”

She said the increase came as a surprise and she wished there would have been more consultation with businesses.

“I agree it needed to go up, and I like the increments. I just wish we would have had more notice,” she said. “Just like the HST, there was no dialogue between government the businesses this impacts.”



Just Posted

Number of SD62 kindergarten registrations about same as last year

Approximately 850 kindergarten registrations for 2019/2020 school year

28 years later: Dunahee disappearance remains largest investigation in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

City of Langford mails out information on sewer connection requirement

Plan lays out obligations, exemptions and financial assistance information for the costly hookup

Update: BC Transit driver taken to hospital with serious injuries after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Most Read