Human Resources, Labour and Employment
January 8, 2008

Public Consultations Set for Review of Minimum Wage

The Provincial Government today announced that public consultations regarding a review of the minimum wage are moving forward over the coming weeks in the province.

“Public consultations are an important part of the decision-making process and our government has firmly committed to consulting as widely as possible regarding future increases to the minimum wage,” said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. “I encourage the people of the province to participate in the process to ensure that their views are heard by government.”

The minimum wage review supports the Provincial Government’s Blueprint commitment to consult and plan for future increases in the minimum wage in a predictable and incremental manner, and to provide stakeholders with the opportunity for meaningful input with a view to achieving a minimum hourly wage of $10 per hour by 2010. Since 2005, the Provincial Government has increased the minimum wage by 33 per cent. This includes the Budget 2007 commitment to raise it to $7.50 on October 1, 2007, and to $8 per hour, effective April 1, 2008.

“The objective of the minimum wage review is to ensure that government fully appreciates the impacts of the minimum wage rate in the context of the province’s overall social and economic outlook,” said Minister Skinner. “I look forward to hearing the views of citizens and stakeholder groups during the consultation process to better inform our deliberations regarding the minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

There are several ways for individuals to provide their feedback. Citizens can go on-line, www.gov.nl.ca/minimumwage, call toll-free, 1-877-563-1063, provide a written submission, or choose to drop it off directly to either the St. John’s or Corner Brook Labour Relations Agency (LRA) office.

Beginning January 14, MHA Keith Hutchings, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, will host a series of regional public consultation sessions around the province. Individuals or groups who wish to make a presentation at a regional session are asked to pre-register by contacting the LRA either through the toll-free number or by e-mail at minimumwage@gov.nl.ca. Written submissions can also be provided to officials at these sessions. As well, representatives from business and labour, the community-based sector, women, youth and the academic community will be invited to bring their views forward through several roundtable discussions.

“The minimum wage rate is also an important consideration for the Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy,” said Minister Skinner. “The review of the minimum wage and the broad-based approach to these consultations serves to inform the strategy’s long-term goals of improved earned incomes and a stronger social safety net in the province.”

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Media contact:
Ed Moriarity
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-4062, 728-9623
edmoriarity@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER
The Minimum Wage in Newfoundland and Labrador

The minimum wage is the lowest hourly wage rate that can be paid to workers in Newfoundland and Labrador. Under Labour Standards legislation, the Provincial Government has authority to establish the minimum hourly wage rate.

In 2006, 14,200 Newfoundland and Labrador workers earned the minimum wage.

For information regarding the profile of minimum wage earners in Newfoundland and Labrador, please visit: http://www.hrle.gov.nl.ca/lra/statistics/pdf/AnalysisofMinimumWageEarners.pdf   (PDF)

The Provincial Government is committed to providing individuals and stakeholders with a meaningful opportunity for input into the 2008 minimum wage review and will consider the results of these consultations in regard to future increases to the minimum wage rate.

Key Questions for Consideration

What are your views regarding the impact of achieving a minimum wage of $10 per hour by 2010?

With a view to achieving a minimum wage of $10 per hour by 2010, what is an appropriate schedule of increases to the minimum wage over this time period?

If you see challenges associated with increasing the minimum wage, how could these be addressed?


Consultation Process Details

Individuals and groups may provide comments directly via email at the following address www.gov.nl.ca/minimumwage or offer verbal feedback by telephone to the Labour Relations Agency at 1-877-563-1063.

Other written submissions with respect to the 2008 Minimum Wage Review can also be forwarded by mail or dropped off to the offices of the Labour Relations Agency in St. John’s or Corner Brook at either of the following locations:

2008 Minimum Wage Review
Labour Relations Agency
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
3rd Floor, Beothuck Building
20 Crosbie Place
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL
A1B 4J6
Fax: (709) 729-3528
2008 Minimum Wage Review
Labour Relations Agency
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
7th Floor, Sir Richard Squires Building
Mount Bernard Avenue
P.O. Box 2006
Corner Brook, NL
A2H 6J8
Fax: (709) 637-2592

The Labour Relations Agency will be accepting public submissions with respect to the 2008 Minimum Wage Review until February 8, 2008.

In January 2008, direct public consultations will also be taking place in several communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

Schedule of Public Consultations

CommunityDateTimeLocation
Happy Valley-Goose BayJanuary 141:00 p.m. Hamilton Hotel
Labrador WestJanuary 151:00 p.m.Two Seasons Inn
Corner Brook January 171:00 p.m.Glynmill Inn
St. AnthonyJanuary 211:00 p.m. Grenfell Heritage Hotel and Suites
GanderJanuary 2312:00 noonHotel Gander
ClarenvilleJanuary 241:00 p.m.Clarenville Inn
MarystownJanuary 251:00 p.m.Marystown Hotel and Convention Centre
St. John’sJanuary 291:00 p.m.Holiday Inn

2008 01 08                               10:35 a.m.


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