featured Labour Poverty

Minimum wage to increase by 15 cents. Don’t spend it all at once

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – On April 1 the minimum wage in Nova Scotia will increase by 15 cents, to $10.85 an hour. The minimum wage for someone who has less than three months’ experience will also increase, by 15 cents an hour, to $10.35.

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Rally on Spring Garden Road in April of 2016. Photo Robert Devet

Nova Scotia’s minimum wage rates are reviewed annually, and adjusted based on the previous year’s rate of inflation.

These are likely just numbers for many of us. But, as some of our readers know all too well, having to depend on minimum wage takes away your dignity. It’s what forces you to tell your kids there is no money for winter boots or birthday presents.

A report issued by the provincial department of Labour and Advanced Education says that in 2015 an estimated 27,800 employees earned minimum wage in Nova Scotia, which is 7.1 % of all wage earning workers.

An additional 100,000 Nova Scotians struggle to make ends meet on less than $15 an hour.

10 percent of employed Nova Scotians used a food bank last year, according to the annual national Hunger Count.

Roughly 200 students each month use the Dalhousie food bank. Students are forced to choose between paying for food or paying for school, and all this while working. Students are also likely to earn minimum wage as they juggle jobs and studies.

A single Nova Scotia mother with three children, working full time while earning minimum wage,  cannot afford to purchase a nutritious diet and maintain a basic standard of living. She would be short $823.03 each month, according to a 2012 FoodArc report.  

The Nova Scotia NDP promises to bring the minimum wage up to $15 per hour in three years. It’s a start. Liberals and Conservatives are happy with the way things are.

For a while there was a bit of a buzz around the #Fightfor15 in Nova Scotia, but it’s been quiet lately. Hopefully that will change.

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One Comment

  1. Don’t be so fast at ridiculing the 15 cents per hour increase. An extra $25 a month (before payroll deductions) is going to help.

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