Minimum wage to crest $15 an hour

As of June 1, the general minimum wage will rise to $15.20 per hour, a 60-cent increase.

On Tuesday, June 1, the minimum wage in B.C. will rise to $15.20 an hour from $14.60 per hour — and the lower wage paid to liquor servers will end.

In 2017, the the provincial NDP government announced a four-year plan to bring the minimum wage — which was then at $11.35 per hour — to the $15 range. The government said almost 400,000 workers in B.C. have received raises under the annual increases.

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Over the past four years, B.C.'s general minimum wage has increased from $11.35 to $15.20 per hour. It has benefited close to 400,000 British Columbians over those years - the majority of whom are women, immigrants and youth.

While the minimum wage rose for most workers, the rate paid employees who served alcohol was lower, with tips factored into that decision. That will change on June 1, when liquor servers are paid the regular minimum wage.

"About 80 per cent of liquor servers are women and the low liquor wage is a clear example of the gender pay gap we are fighting to eliminate," said Grace Lore, parliamentary secretary of gender equity. "Most minimum wage earners are women, often racialized women and newcomers who face barriers to accessing better-paying jobs. We need to work towards wages that workers can actually live on instead of being held back by."

As of June 1, B.C. will have the second-highest highest minimum wage in Canada, behind Nunavut's $16 an hour. Beginning next year, increases for minimum wage will be tied to inflation.

As of June 1, the minimum wage rates are increasing as follows:

• General minimum wage increases to $15.20 an hour from $14.60 an hour.

• Liquor server minimum wage of $13.95 an hour is being eliminated and replaced with the general minimum wage of $15.20 an hour.

• Live-in camp leader minimum wage, per day, increases to $121.65 from $116.86 and resident caretaker minimum wage, per month, increases to $912.28, plus $36.56 per suite for those who manage nine to 60 residential suites and to $3,107.42 for 61 or more suites.

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