On April 11, 2014, the Prince Edward Island (PEI) government quietly announced that it will increase the province’s minimum wage to $10.20 on June 1, 2014 and to $10.35 on October 1, 2014. The new rates were approved by the provincial cabinet following the annual review / recommendation on the province’s minimum wage by the PEI Employment Standards Board.

What RCC Did / Next Steps:

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) addressed the PEI Employment Standards Board in the Fall of 2013 to inform them of the difficulties being faced by retailers in the province. As the Board is allowed to make wide ranging recommendations to government regarding the province’s minimum wage structure, RCC called for the implementation of a predictable, non-political policy for determining minimum wage increases. RCC recommended that the Board and the government consider implementing a system similar to that in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia system takes politics out of decisions regarding minimum wage by mandating that any recommended increase to minimum wage must be tied to the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year.

RCC has also advocated directly with the PEI government for the implementation of a CPI driven minimum wage policy through its meeting with the Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice and through RCC’s Pre-Budget Submissions.

RCC is disappointed with the decision of the PEI government as it will be difficult for retailers to manage two minimum wage increases in four months.

RCC has written to the Honourable Janice Sherry, PEI’s Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice to express our opposition to this decision and to reiterate RCC’s call for a predictable, non-political system of determining minimum wage increases.

Background:

Prior to June 1, 2014, the minimum wage was $10.00 an hour. The $10.00 rate had been in effect since April 1 of 2012.

Since 2007, PEI’s minimum wage has increased by 38 percent.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Jim Cormier, Director, (Atlantic) at:  [email protected] or 902-422-4144