Alberta’s minimum wage is set to rise 35 cents per hour starting this fall.
Minimum wage will increase from $9.40 per hour to $9.75 per hour. The provincial government made the announcement Thursday, saying the change will affect about 26,000 Albertans.
The increase is based on a new formula approved in 2011 that is set to take effect this fall. The formula links possible increases to an average of the annual increases in Average Weekly Earnings and the Consumer Price Index in Alberta.
According to the province, Alberta’s new general minimum wage will rank second in Canada after taxes.
But Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, says that claim is misleading.
"The government is twisting the truth," he said. "The fact is that Alberta presently has the lowest minimum wage in Canada. After the province's minimum wages increase in September, we'll have the second lowest minimum wage in the country after Saskatchewan."
McGowan said Alberta's cost of living is amongst the highest in the country, so factoring in taxes isn't a good indicator of the the new minimum wage ranking.
The changes to minimum change are slated to take effect September 1. Liquor server minimum wage of $9.05 will not change.