Minimum wage set to go up on September 1

I’m wondering if I’m getting a raise this year? I heard the general minimum wage is going up, but are we liquor servers getting a raise? — Wondering Waitress

Dear Working Wise: I’m wondering if I’m getting a raise this year? I heard the general minimum wage is going up, but are we liquor servers getting a raise? — Wondering Waitress

Dear Wondering: Yes, the minimum wage for alcohol servers is rising from $9.05 to $9.20 per hour, effective Sept. 1.

Alberta’s general minimum wage will also rise 25 cents, from $9.95 to $10.20 per hour.

From now on, both minimum wage rates will increase and a $1 differential between the two will be maintained. The separate minimum wage rate for alcohol servers recognizes that these employees earn tips.

Minimum wage increases take effect on Sept. 1 of each year and are based on increases in average weekly earnings and the consumer price index in Alberta. In the past year, average weekly earnings rose 3.3 per cent in Alberta, while the consumer price index rose 1.4 per cent.

The average of these two figures (2.3 per cent) was rounded up to 25 cents per hour to make it easier for employers to calculate.

Setting an annual date and indexing the minimum wage helps make the increases more predictable for both employers and employees.

It’s important to remember that these are minimum wage rates; many employers choose to pay their employees more to attract and retain good people.

In fact, only 1.5 per cent of Alberta employees make minimum wage right now — the least in the country. And, more than half of minimum-wage earners are under 25, and many work in the accommodation and food-services industries.

Minimum wage is meant to give students and others new to the workforce a foothold in the world of work. It is about getting job experience, work skills, extra income and savings for further education and training.

Minimum wage is the minimum amount employers must pay workers in Alberta, but there are a few exceptions, including:

l farm or ranch workers;

l securities salespersons;

l real estate brokers;

l insurance salespeople;

l students in approved work-experience programs or training courses;

l counsellors/instructors at non-profit camps; and

l extras in film or video production.

Alberta’s Employment Standards also includes a minimum weekly wage for some salespersons and professionals (this will rise to $406) and a minimum monthly minimum wage for domestic employees (this will rise to $1,937).

After personal exemptions and taxes are considered, Alberta’s new general minimum wage of $10.20 per hour will be the second highest in Canada.

For more information on Alberta’s minimum wage rates and exemptions, visit http://work.alberta.ca/es.

Anyone interested in increasing their earning power can visit their nearest Alberta Works Centre and talk to a career and employment consultant about upgrading their skills and finding a better-paying career.

To find an Alberta Works Centre near you, click http://humanservices.alberta.ca/offices.

Working Wise is compiled by Charles Strachey, a manager with Alberta Human Services, for general information. He can be contacted at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca.

Just Posted

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

EDMONTON — Jason Kenney, Alberta’s incoming premier, said he cordially talked pipelines… Continue reading

Shooting victims in Penticton, B.C., remembered before vigil at city park

PENTICTON, B.C. — Family and friends are remembering neighbours who were gunned… Continue reading

Kremlin says Kim Jong Un will visit Russia this month

MOSCOW — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia later… Continue reading

After 2 years of waiting, Americans will see Mueller report

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is about to… Continue reading

Updated: Industrial fabrication shop in Red Deer destroyed in morning fire

About 30 workers got out safely before building in north end gutted

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix kicked off the year with the biggest subscriber… Continue reading

Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA — When voters in Prince Edward Island go to the polls… Continue reading

Officer tells of finding body at trial for B.C. dad accused of killing daughters

VANCOUVER — A police officer choked up Tuesday as he recalled finding… Continue reading

Man faces murder charges in slayings of two men, two women in Penticton, B.C.

PENTICTON, B.C. — A former city employee described as a hard-working, civic-minded… Continue reading

A look at Alberta’s elections since the province was created in 1905

EDMONTON — A chronology of Alberta elections: Nov. 9, 1905: Lawyer Alexander… Continue reading

Most Read