Minimum wage earners in the province received a boost of 22 cents more an hour this weekend.
On Oct. 1, the hourly wage went up for workers to $10.72 from $10.50.
While most workers who spoke with 650 CKOM welcomed the raise, others said it’s not enough.
“It’s a joke,” said Catherine Gendron, who was at a job’s rally in Saskatoon on Saturday.
“If you’re working full-time, it’s $8 a week—hardly enough for our rising cost of living.”
Gendron said the average person needs a $15 minimum wage in the province to make ends meet.
“Most people working on minimum wage are going to the food bank,” she said.
CKOM business analyst, Paul Martin, said the increase won’t impact many workers in the province.
“It’s for high school kids and people who have very low skill sets or are working really part time or something or have some ability to earn additional income—think restaurants and tips,” Martin said.
Saskatchewan was previously tied for the lowest minimum wage in the country at $10.50. It’s now the fourth lowest in Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador has the lowest minimum wage at $10.50, with Nunavut at the highest with an hourly rate of $13.
“People need it,” said Jeff Bergman, who lives in Saskatoon. “The inflation in this province is crazy.”
But some business owners say they feel the pinch when the minimum wage price rises.
“I don’t think it was the right time because of the economic slump and a lot of restaurants are suffering right now,” said Jeff Liebel, the owner of Tony Roma’s in Saskatoon.
Alberta also increased their minimum wage Saturday, with a $1 boost from $11.20 to $12.20.
“That’s just over the top and is going to bankrupt a lot of small business,” Liebel said.
—with files from Amber McGuckin.