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Restaurants Canada calls on Saskatchewan government to reverse minimum wage increase and return to predictable formula


Restaurants Canada is calling on the Saskatchewan government to reverse its decision to abandon the predictable minimum wage indexation formula with $3 per hour minimum wage increase over next three years and consult with the food-service sector to mitigate the impact of the wage hike.

On May 3 the Saskatchewan government announced it will be increasing the provincial minimum wage from $11.81 to $13.00 per hour on Oct. 1, 2022, and to $15 per hour on Oct. 1, 2024 – a 27 per cent increase over the next three years. The decision came without consultation and moves away from the province’s traditional indexation formula, which linked adjustments to Average Hourly Wage to the Consumer Price Index for the province.

“The increase removes predictable and sustainable minimum wage increases at a time when Saskatchewan’s hospitality businesses can least afford it as the industry still continues to rebuild after being one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Restaurants Canada said in a statement.

For years Restaurants Canada has praised the Saskatchewan government for its approach to increasing the minimum wage by linking increases to CPI and wage inflation which the food-service sector uses to adjust all wages.

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“Yesterday’s minimum wage announcement comes at the worst time for Saskatchewan restaurants. Operators are already struggling to survive, grappling with increased debt from the pandemic, as well as rising costs, and menu inflation pressure, all while trying to bring back price-sensitive guests to recover and rebuild from the pandemic” said Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president, Western Canada.

“Yesterday’s minimum wage announcement will make it even more difficult to hire back employees. It will also result in fewer employment opportunities and less work hours for service staff,” von Schellwitz said.