Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On bare minimums

One has to give NDP labour critic Andy Iwanchuk some points for optimism in his response to the Sask Party's changes to the province's minimum wage board that he'd hoped for an announcement about indexation. But unfortunately, the problems with the Sask Party's strategy look to go far deeper than even the partisan nature of some of the appointments to the board:
Norris said he has encouraged the new board to consult with the members of the Enterprise Saskatchewan board, set up by the Sask. Party government to offer advice on furthering economic development in the province.

"I think by working more closely with Enterprise Saskatchewan the new board will actually be in a position to receive feedback from a wide variety of sectors and I look forward to hearing about the work as it gets underway and obviously as they complete it by the end of the year," Norris said.
In other words, Norris is explicitly telling the minimum wage board to focus what the businesses represented by Enterprise Saskatchewan want to pay - which is bound to produce a predictable response. In contrast, he doesn't see any need to suggest the board should even take into consideration the effect of minimum wage levels on the workers who have to live with them, let alone seek out anybody to present that side of the story.

That deliberately biased presentation figures to be even more important than the names of the new board members in predicting what the board is likely to end up doing. And at this rate, it would be less of a surprise for the newly-stacked board to follow the Sask Party's usual business-first-and-only philosophy by attempting to do away with the minimum wage entirely than for it to make any changes for the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment