FREDERICTON – The Common Front for Social Justice New Brunswick is reacting to the announcement that on April 1st the provincial minimum wage will increase by five cents from $11.70/hour to $11.75/hour. As an organization which works with an organizes low-wage workers and people in poverty, the Front says that the current minimum wage increase is insufficient to meet the needs of New Brunswick workers.
“As we’ve been telling the province for many years, the minimum wage lags far behind a rate that anyone could live on. The minimum wage needs to play catch-up with the rising cost of living in the province. We submitted a $15/hour minimum wage as a starting point in our pre-budget consultations with the province, with the math to show how far behind a living wage we are. We’re going to continue organizing and applying pressure for higher wages for New Brunswickers”
– Abram Lutes, Provincial Coordinator for the Common Front
“We’ve heard over and over again from this government how much they appreciate essential workers. But many minimum-wage workers are essential workers. This government ended the essential workers wage top-up, won’t commit to paid sick days, and now won’t raise the minimum wage to reflect the reality of the cost of living. The government is condemning essential workers to poverty.”
– Gabrielle Ross-Marquette, Labour Co-Chair for the Common Front
- The government of New Brunswick announced that on April 1st the provincial minimum wage would increase by 5 cents from $11.70 to $11.75/hour.
- In 2019, there were over 20,000 New Brunswickers earning minimum wage
- According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a living wage for a worker in Saint John, New Brunswick is approximately $20/hour.
- Based on the Market Basket Measure, there were 74,000 people in New Brunswick living in poverty in 2018. This has likely increased as a result of COVID-19.
- New Brunswick shows lowest median household income in Canada
- Average hourly wages in Canada have barely budged in 40 years
Provincial Coordinator, Common Front NB