It is expected that the Alberta government will be announcing the increase to Alberta’s minimum wage for 2016 before the end of June. This increase will likely take effect on October 1, 2016.
RCC has been extremely active in engaging with Alberta’s Minister of Labour on this issue. We met with the Minister in May to outline the impact the 2015 minimum wage increase had on retailers, the current state of Alberta’s retail sector, and the impact rising costs and declining sales have had on retail employment. We have also met with Alberta’s Finance Minister to outline the impact the Notley government’s promise to have a $15/hour minimum wage by 2018 will have on Alberta retailers.
On June 6, RCC attended an all-day stakeholder consultation in Calgary. We took part in the consultation sessions and roundtables and also had the opportunity to have another brief private discussion with the Minister. Despite holding consultations in Calgary and Edmonton with stakeholders through the month of June, Premier Notley has publicly stated this month that she fully intends to move forward with implementing a $15/hour minimum wage by 2018 - despite any feedback the government may receive saying to slow down the increases. The strong consensus, even among minimum wage advocates, at the Calgary consultation was that 2018 was too aggressive a timeframe in light of the current economic situation in Alberta.
RCC has written Minister of Labour Gray and Premier Notley to again stress the need to consider stakeholder feedback on this issue and reconsider the 2018 timeframe. Click here to read RCC’s letter to the Alberta government.
If the Alberta government is unwilling to reconsider the 2018 implementation timeframe, Alberta retailers should expect the 2016 increase to the minimum wage to be in the range of $1.25-1.30/hour, raising the minimum wage to $12.45-12.50/hour.
Once the official announcement is made, RCC will provide members with an update and will have the revised minimum wage information posted on the RCC website.
For more information contact:
Director, Government Relations (Prairies)
Retail Council of Canada