September 17, 2013

For immediate release

Halifax, Nova Scotia – Nova Scotia students welcomed the NDP’s commitment this weekend to continue increasing the minimum wage based on the Low Income Cut Off (LICO).

“A fair minimum wage ensure that students are appropriately compensated for their work and protected from inflationary erosion of basic incomes,” said StudentsNS Executive Director Jonathan Williams. “We strongly support the NDP’s commitment to continue increasing the minimum wage based on the LICO.”

Students represent a significant proportion of the Nova Scotia workforce that is paid minimum wage. According to Statistics Canada, “close to 80% of teenagers and young adults hold a part-time minimum-wage job while pursuing their studies.” Almost two-thirds of minimum wage workers are under the age of 25, totaling one-in-six workers – and one-in-five women workers – in this age bracket. In total, approximately 63,000 employees in Nova Scotia earned wages near the minimum (below $10/hour) in 2009.

“Students are often paid minimum wage and depend on that money to pay for their tuition, minimize their debt load and maintain the most basic standard of living,” Williams said. “A fair minimum wage is just one part of making life affordable for students, but it’s very important.”

The Minimum Wage Committee has noted that students ‘still face significant challenges in funding their education.’ In fact, this year’s 2% minimum wage increase will barely compensate for 3% tuition growth, while other costs also continued to rise. Students hope all the parties will commit firmly to a fair minimum wage, but also support freezing tuition and investing in more targeted financial assistance for students with the greatest need.

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For more information or questions, please contact:

Jonathan Williams, StudentsNS Executive Director

(O) 902.422.4068

(C) 902.483.5480

(E) director@studentsns.ca

 

Students Nova Scotia (StudentsNS), formerly the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations, is a not-for-profit and non-partisan advocacy group that represents 87% of Nova Scotia university students. Our 37,471 members study at Acadia, Cape Breton, Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, and St. Francis Xavier Universities and the Atlantic School of Theology.