Minimum Wage Survey

Have your say on Yukon’s Minimum Wage

The Yukon Minimum Wage Review Board is looking for your input, albeit quietly.   There is a survey running from June 8 to July 8, 2018.  Despite identifying as an interested party directly with Minister Streicker, Yukon Federation of Labour only learned about the survey in a letter received on June 19, 2018.

YFL questions why the survey wasn’t announced with a Yukon government press release.  We also are curious why the survey and information about it is hosted on the old Yukon government website.

Nonetheless, we are pushing the survey information out to our membership and the general public.

A Living Wage is a Decent Wage

Currently, Yukoners who rely on minimum wage earn $11.51 per hour. And that’s before any tax comes off the top. Most minimum wage discussions tend to go down the path of cost, instead of decency. Let’s take a quick look at the cost side so we can better understand the argument for decency.

Let’s imagine a worker putting in 60 hours a week at two different minimum wage employers (with no overtime). At the current minimum wage, their take home is just under $33,000 a year after taxes.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Now, given the recent rent survey completed by Yukon Bureau of Statistics, let’s assume our worker is single and pays the average rent for all types of rental units, $1,184.00 per month. Over a year, that total comes to $14,208.00. Nearly half of our worker’s income is gone in rent.

I could go on, but I imagine folks can predict where this math leads. Come year-end, a worker with one full-time and one half-time job has been able to little more than meet their survival costs.

The only decent alternative to the minimum wage is a living wage.

In Yukon, the current living wage is calculated as $18.26 per hour. Quite a jump from the current minimum wage of $11.51 per hour. The reason for the gulf between the two values comes down to what they were/are intended for:

  • The minimum wage was introduced in 1975 to prevent exploitation of women and youth in the workplace.
  • The living wage is designed to bring individuals and families out of poverty and into a place of economic security, or decency.

Times have changed since 1975 and businesses have become powerful lobby groups which are shamefully given the same rights as people. What has been lost along the way, is the understanding that businesses exist to fill the needs of the people. If people can’t afford the costs of goods or services, businesses will starve and die.

Making decisions on how much people should earn, based on the cost to business, is indecent.

Providing people with a decent income would result in more spending on goods and services. Plus, people who aren’t on the knife’s edge of poverty have much better quality of life, meaning less cost to our health care system. Healthy, happy, decently living people attract more of the same, which would lead to positive population growth for the Yukon. And the more people who call Yukon home, the more income for businesses. The benefits go on and on.

It’s time for Yukon government to make the right choice, and support individuals and families in their ability to live a life of decency.

For more information about the Yukon Living Wage, click here.

For information about the survey, please click here to go the Yukon government page, or click here to link to the survey directly.

Here’s the text from YG’s website:

The Employment Standards Board is reviewing Yukon’s minimum wage at the request of the Government of Yukon.

From June 8 – July 8, the general public is invited to provide their feedback through an online survey. Yukon labour groups, business organizations, and other stakeholders are invited to provide their written feedback about potential impacts on employees and the business community.

The online survey can be accessed until midnight on July 8.

For more information, please contact Employment Standards at 667-5944 or toll free 1-800-661-0408 local 5944 or


Yukon minimum wage review - coming soon!


Yukon Federation of Labour is pleased with the minimum wage review announced by Yukon government.  Read on for the text, or click here to see the original announcement.

Published 27/02/2018

Minister of Community Services John Streicker announced today that he will ask the Employment Standards Board to conduct a review of Yukon’s minimum wage.

The review will follow recent increases and announced increases to the minimum wage in other Canadian jurisdictions that will see Yukon’s minimum wage drop to 7th place in Canada by May 2018.

When conducting a minimum wage review, the Employment Standards Board analyzes minimum wage trends throughout Canada and examines relevant data from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics. The Board also reviews best practices for implementing potential minimum wage changes and consults with stakeholders – including the business community and labour organizations – about the potential impacts on businesses and their employees.

The minimum wage review will take approximately six months to complete, after which the Board will make recommendations to the Minister of Community Services for any changes to minimum wage rates and other regulations surrounding minimum wage.

By May, 11 Canadian jurisdictions will have raised or announced plans to raise their minimum wage in the past year alone, dropping Yukon into the lower half nationally. In anticipation of these changes, our government believes it is time for a review of Yukon’s wage to ensure it remains competitive within the national context and balances the needs of both employers and their employees.

Quick Facts

On April 1 each year, Yukon’s minimum wage increases according to the annual increase in the Whitehorse Consumer Price Index. The annual increase for 2018 will not be affected by the minimum wage review.

Yukon’s minimum wage is currently $11.32 and will increase to $11.51 on April 1, 2018, based on the Whitehorse Consumer Price Index for 2017.

Yukon’s minimum wage currently ranks 6th highest in the country.

The last review of the minimum wage was conducted in 2012, and resulted in an increase of $1.03 per hour above the Consumer Price Index increase.

We note an increase based solely on the CPI (Consumer Price Index) is a small movement toward a Living Wage of $18.26/hour as presented by the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition.

Yukoners who are struggling to survive on minimum wage (or mutiple minimum wages, when one isn’t enough) deserve more.  They deserve the opportunity to plan for retirement versus planning what they can afford to put in their grocery market basket.

YFL looks forward to working as a stakeholder with the Employment Standards Board, to provide information on minimum wage implications and living wage needs in Yukon.

Click here for information about the Employment Standards Board, its mandate and members.


Minimum Wage Survey

Yukon Minimum Wage Still Too Low

WHITEHORSE – Although continuing the link between minimum wage and inflation is a positive step, the Yukon Federation of Labour (YFL) still contends that the base minimum wage rate in Yukon is too low.
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