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Alberta minimum wage increase a slap in the face

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Sunny South News

Hallelujah. Alberta workers rejoice. Finally, Alberta is last in line to raise the minimum wage for employees to over $10 an hour this September.

That’s the bare minimum an employer must pay an employee, unless said employee is a liquor server. As of Sept. 1, the minimum wage in Alberta will increase by 25 cents to $10.20 an hour but only for non-liquor serving Albertans. That demographic can only expect a small increase to $9.20 an hour due to the anticipation of tips for a job well done, through the eyes of a consumer.

The increase will put Alberta at par with Saskatchewan but still under the $10.25 an hour in British Columbia and the highest paid employees in Ontario and Nunavut at $11 an hour.

Wow. It’s times like these Albertans should celebrate. Many Albertans who make the present minimum wage will no doubt be lining up to buy the latest and greatest gadgets and must haves with their soon-to-be new found money in their pockets.

Perhaps, vacations aplenty are in store for those Albertans who live just above poverty, if not below it.

For shame Alberta government and those businesses paying only minimum wage. Yes, something is better than nothing, but come on — 25 cents more an hour. It surely isn’t anything to write home about.

Let’s pull out the ye olde calculator to punch in some numbers. Let’s say an Alberta employee working for the upcoming minimum wage of $10.20 an hour works eight hours a day for five days a week. A once upon a time traditional work week, equalling 80 hours a week of work hours. That’s $408 a week, minus taxes and such. Previously, at $9.95 an hour it would work out to $398 a week, which in the end works out to about $10 more a week. Holy cow, break out the Bermuda shorts and fine crystal and get ready to live it up.

It’s sad, actually. Albertans barely living on minimum wage should be insulted. Conservatives preach about Albertans living in a prosperous province, when so many live without the bare essentials, let alone helping to invest in the consumer marketplace. One would hope Alberta Liberals, NDPs and Wildrose politicians would consider the minimum wage in Alberta as pathetic. In all of Canada, minimum wage numbers are low. Of course business men and women in Alberta and across Canada want minimum wages low, so a small business or big business can thrive. But at what expense? Many employers already pay employees a good wage, higher than minimum wage and hats off to those who do.

Employees are the bread and butter of business. Shorting them on wages is despicable, while the cash register keeps ca-chinging all the way to the bank.

Business has adopted the part-time part-time employee. Keep the employee at the bare minimum hours per week, so wages can remain low and benefits don’t have to be paid.

Don’t sugar coat it. That is the way the cookie crumbles in the world of making money for business owners and barely paying the bills for many employees.

Perhaps one day Albertans and Canadians in general will get paid what they’re worth and that’s more than a measly $10.20 an hour in Alberta.

 

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