Meara believes that an honest day’s work should guarantee that poverty won’t still be knocking at your door.
Saskatchewan currently has the lowest minimum wage in Canada at $11.45 per hour. To put that in perspective, a Big Mac meal at McDonalds, including taxes, currently costs $12.42.
One in five workers in Saskatchewan make minimum wage, or over 96,000 Saskatchewan families make an income that isn’t enough to lift them out of poverty.
Contrary to the myths about who earns minimum wages (like it’s only teenagers), most minimum wage earners are older, disproportionately female and work for large, corporate employers that bring in big profits.
Meara and your Opposition NDP support raising the minimum wage to $15/hour and even introduced a bill to this effect in 2018 that was defeated by the Sask Party government.
Why do we support a $15/hr minimum wage?
A 15$ minimum wage is a critical way to decrease poverty and improve the economy.
Many communities that have raised their minimum wage have seen positive impacts on employment. It means more people have more money in their pocket to spend on local business and a stronger tax base to fund public services.
Many thousands more Saskatchewan workers make a few dollars above minimum wage. They would also stand to benefit as a minimum wage would push wages for everyone near the bottom.
Now more than ever we’re learning that many low wage workers do some of the most vital work to ensure our communities function well and our loved ones are cared for.
One worry that many people have is that increases to the minimum wage will mean that prices in stores increase. This just hasn’t been found to be true. One study compared the cost of goods in Seattle, when the minimum wage was raised there, versus the cost of goods outside of the city and found no noticeable difference. The fact is, we all do better when we all do better.