Good news for minimum wage earners in Alberta, Canada's fourth-most populous province. Effective September, the minimum wage per hour will increase to $10.20. The prevailing rate is $9.95 per hour.
As expected, Rachel Notley, NDP MLA and labour critic, blasted the measly 25-cent pay hike which does not correspond with living expenses in the province.
The wage increase takes effect on September 1, 2014.
"For the thousands of Albertans who have to make ends meet on this wage the minimum wage continues to provide them with less than the bare minimum," Notley said in a written statement.
The increase, the Alberta government said, was based on a formula which takes into consideration increase in the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the province.
In all of Canada, Alberta has the lowest minimum wage. About 25,700 people are earning minimum wage in the province.
"While Alberta has the lowest percentage of employees earning minimum wage in the country, these individuals form an important part of our workforce." Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour said in a written release.
"Many work in the service and retail sectors and are gaining the experience they need to succeed. These changes will give them a modest increase while keeping the viability of their employers in mind as well."
Apart from minimum wage earners, the hourly minimum wage of Alberta's liquor servers will also rise by 15 cents per hour, putting their base salaries at $9.20 an hour.
Employers and employees with concerns about minimum wages can contact the Employment Standards Contact Centre at 1-877-427-3731 or visit the Work Alberta Web site.
Alberta has an estimated population of 4,082,571 as of January 1, 2014. It is Canada's fourth-most populous province and most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces. It was established as a province on September 1, 1905.