NS Federation of Labour statement about April 1, 2024 Minimum Wage increase

January 3, 2024

Today, Nova Scotia Federation of Labour (NSFL) President Danny Cavanagh issued a statement regarding the recent minimum wage increase announcement made by the Government of Nova Scotia. While he acknowledges the efforts made by the government to address income disparity, he strongly believes that the current increase falls short of what is required to help low-wage workers amidst the affordability crisis.

“The minimum wage increase from $15.00 to $15.20 is not nearly enough to bridge the gap between poverty and a living wage. Workers are grappling with the escalating costs of housing, food, and basic amenities. The current minimum wage does not realistically align with these costs, leaving many Nova Scotians struggling to afford their basic needs,” says Cavanagh.

He urges the government and the Minimum Wage Review Committee to consider an alternative solution.

“We need to look beyond piecemeal increases. We need a solution that brings our minimum wage workers closer to a living wage at a faster pace. The NSFL proposes that the committee should consider a comprehensive review of the province’s wage policies, including the introduction of a ‘Living Wage Index’. This index, which should be adjusted annually, should reflect the real costs of living in Nova Scotia, including housing, food, transportation, and other necessities and would be a game-changer for our workforce.

“It would ensure that wages are equitable and reflect the true cost of living. It’s about fairness and dignity for Nova Scotia workers. They deserve to earn not just a minimum wage, but a living wage. The disparity is glaringly obvious when you consider that at 9:27 AM on January 2, the average top Canadian CEO had already made the average Canadian worker’s annual salary. According to the latest report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada’s top 100 CEOs were paid a whopping $14.9 million, on average, in 2022. This is an all-time high and bested the previous record of $14.3 million, which was set last year. This is more than double what CEOs were paid in 2008—$7.4 million—when the CCPA started publishing this data set.

“We call upon businesses, unions, and workers to rally for this cause. He believes that a collective voice can bring about this monumental change. The NSFL is committed to advocating for workers’ rights and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all Nova Scotians can afford a decent standard of living,” says Cavanagh.

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