January 6, 2005
(Human Resources, Labour and Employment)


Minimum wage earners in Newfoundland and Labrador to see increase in pay

Joan Burke, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, announced today that government has approved a $1 increase to the province’s minimum wage. The increase will be implemented in four 25 cent increments over a two-year period. 

"Last fall, the Labour Relations Agency embarked on an extensive review of the minimum wage that included the thoughts and opinions of people from all over Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister Burke. "More than 150 submissions were received by phone, mail and e-mail from a broad spectrum, including employers, individuals, labour organizations and community advocates. This is the greatest amount of feedback ever received on this issue and it has been extremely useful in helping government reach a fair and reasonable balance when considering an increase in the minimum wage. 

"As the minister responsible for the Income Support Program and the Status of Women, I am acutely aware of wage levels and those working people, many of whom are women, who require our help to meet their families’ needs. It has been the mandate of this government to achieve minimum wage parity with the rest of Atlantic Canada and I am very pleased that we are able to follow through on this front in a manner that considers the province’s fiscal realities with the needs of minimum wage earners as well as the business community." 

The minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador is currently $6 per hour. That wage will increase by 25 cents to $6.25 effective June 1, 2005, to $6.50 effective January 1, 2006, to $6.75 effective June 1, 2006 and to $7 effective January 1, 2007. 

According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, approximately 8.5 per cent of paid employees in Newfoundland and Labrador (16,100 people) received minimum wage in 2003. The minimum wage was last increased in November 2002. 

Media contact: Jacquelyn Howard, Communications, (709) 729-4062, 689-2624 

2005 01 06                                11:15 a.m.

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