2011-2012 Resolution: A Multi-Tiered Minimum Wage

Mar 25, 2011 | Chamber News

Preamble:   Currently the minimum wage in Manitoba is $9.50 and is expected to increase further. 

While Manitoba’s minimum wage is not tiered, many provinces have a tiered minimum wage and others are considering that option. 

The province of Ontario has a student minimum wage for those under 18 who work under 28 hours per week during the school year. British Columbia has a First Job/Entry Level Minimum Wage. Once an employee has worked 500 hours, they are then entitled to the full minimum wage rate. In Nova Scotia, they have adopted a similar system in that employees with less than three months of experience may be paid a lower minimum wage. 

New Brunswick is currently looking at a two-tiered minimum wage. 

Resolution: That the Government of Manitoba put in place a multi-tiered system for minimum wage in Manitoba that would be based on age and experience. 

Resolution Report:  

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce produces Resolution reports as part of its commitment to be accountable to its members. The reports are updated as matters unfold and have two components:

MCC Advocacy: Specific activities the MCC has done to help make this Resolution a reality. 

Developments:  All other information (e.g. government action, media coverage, reports) that relates to Resolution. 

Advice, comments, and information sharing are welcome; simply enter a reply at the bottom of this post.

MCC Advocacy: 

May 15, 2011: The 2011-2012 Resolutions were posted on the MCC website, listed as part of a comprehensive Report on AGM 2011 and then notice of this story was circulated through a news release as well as in an MCC E-Update which is sent to all MCC members, Media and Government.

June 22, 2011: Resolution books were sent to every MLA and every Member of Parliament that hails from Manitoba. The following had this Resolution specifically drawn to their attention with a detailed letter setting out the background to this issue, Government initiatives (where applicable), and an argument for the Resolution:

  • The Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade
  • The Minister of Labour and Immigration


August 17, 2011:  The Honourable Jennifer Howard, Minister of Labour and Immigration, wrote to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce on this issue.

Here is her response: 

The Honourable Jennifer Howard

In past reviews of the minimum wage, employer and worker representatives have never agreed on a multi-tiered minimum wage. As you know, Manitoba discontinued a lower youth minimum wage more than 20 years ago. Differential rates were found to be administratively cumbersome and difficult to enforce, discriminatory in nature to employees, and there were concerns that some employers might reduce costs by keeping these employees only as long as the differential wage applied. I appreciate the information you have provided in support of the Resolution. I want to assure you it will be taken into account when the minimum wage is next reviewed. 

October 2, 2011: The NDP published a campaign announcement entitled “Today’s NDP, the Only Party to Support a Strong Minimum Wage with Regular Increases” that touched on this issue. 

The announcement included the following: 

“Today’s NDP has raised the minimum wage every year for 11 years in a row, and a re-elected NDP government will continue to support hard-working Manitobans with regular minimum wage increases.”

To read more click here. 

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