Nova Scotia minimum wage going up to $11.55 on April 1

The minimum wage for experienced employees in Nova Scotia is going up to $11.55 on April 1 and up by another 55 cents each of the next two years.

Minimum wage expected to rise to about $12.10 next year and $12.65 the year after

The minimum wage review committee calculated the 55-cent-per-year increase, based on a 30-cent increase plus inflation. (Malcolm Campbell/CBC)

The minimum wage for experienced employees in Nova Scotia is going up to $11.55 on April 1 and up by another 55 cents each of the next two years.

It is currently $11. 

According to a news release issued Tuesday, the minimum wage review committee calculated the 55-cent-per-year increase based on its own recommendation: a 30-cent increase plus inflation. The minimum wage is expected to rise to about $12.10 in April 2020 and $12.65 in April 2021.

(Inexperienced employees — those who have worked for an employer for less than three months and have less than three months experience doing the kind of work they're employed to do — can be paid 50 cents less.)

The updated calculation is also now based on a 37-hour work week instead of a 40-hour work week, because the average work week for full-time employees is about 37 hours. 

Labour Minister Labi Kousoulis made the announcement on Tuesday, accepting the committee's recommended increases.

The minimum wage review committee includes employee and employer representatives. 

The increase means Nova Scotia no longer has the lowest minimum wage in the country.

But it's still not the $15 an hour the NDP is calling for by 2020. 

"Any increase that does not get us on track to reach a $15 minimum wage does not go far enough to encourage the kind of economic growth we need," said NDP Leader Gary Burrill in a news release. 

Despite pushback from many employers, Ontario raised its minimum wage from $11.60 an hour to $14 on Jan. 1. Premier Doug Ford's government then scrapped a plan by the previous government to increase minimum wage to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2019.

Alberta is currently the only province with a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Starting April 1, 2022, the rate will be adjusted annually with inflation, using the Bank of Canada's Consumer Price Index.