B.C. ends discriminatory liquor server wage and increases minimum wage

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Liquor servers in B.C. will get a pay boost in June. Servers will be entitled to earn general minimum wage, which will increase from $14.60 to $15.20 an hour.

“I’m proud to put an end to the discriminatory minimum wage for B.C. liquor servers, which disproportionally affects women,” said Harry Bains, minister of labour. “Many of these low-income workers are the most vulnerable in workplaces, including young women as liquor servers and minorities in low-wage jobs.”

The province made a commitment in 2018 to end the alternative liquor server minimum wage. The minimum wage for liquor servers currently $13.95.

B.C. will also reach its goal of a $15.20 an hour minimum wage through regular increases, which was recommended by the Fair Wages Commission in 2018. At that time, B.C. had one of the lowest minimum wages in the country and was one of the most expensive provinces to live in, the province said.

“I have absolutely benefited from the annual increases to the minimum wage over the past four years,” said Lara Higgs, a liquor server at Dinghy Dock Pub in Nanaimo. 

“As a career liquor server for the past 36 years and mother of three adult children, the extra money helps me pay bills and catch up from lost wages when I was raising my kid.”

The minimum wage will also increase for live-in camp leaders and resident caretakers. Live-in camp leader minimum wage, per day, increases to $121.65 from $116.86. Resident caretaker minimum wage, per month, increases to $912.28, plus $36.56 per suite for those who manage nine to 60 residential suites and to $3,107.42 for 61 or more suites.

Future increases to the minimum wage, starting in 2022, will be based on the rate of inflation to provide predictability going forward, according to the province.

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