B.C. farm workers receive pay raise

B.C. farm workers receive pay raise
Jan 03, 2023

The minimum wage for ag piece rates increased by 2.8 per cent

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Farm workers in British Columbia received a pay increase once the calendar flipped to 2023.

Beginning Jan. 1, the minimum wage for agricultural piece rates increased by 2.8 per cent.

The pay raise applies to 15 hand-harvested crops including peaches, apricots, apples and strawberries.

“The increase is based on B.C.’s average annual inflation rate in 2021 and is consistent with the 2.8 per cent increase to the minimum hourly wage that came into effect on June 1, 2022,” a B.C. Ministry of Labour release says.

In June, the minimum wage in the province rose from $15.20 to $15.65 per hour.

The increase in ag piece rates, for example, means in 2022 an employer would’ve paid a worker $24.23 per half bin of apricots. In 2023 the worker will receive $24.91 per half bin.

A worker harvesting apples in 2022 would’ve been paid $21.06 per bin. Going forward, he or she will be paid $21.65 per bin.

Each of the 15 crops has its own minimum pay rate.

The last increase in B.C. farm worker piece rates came in 2019 when rates rose by 11.5 per cent.

B.C. first established a minimum piece rate system in 1981.

Farms.com has contacted the BC Fruit Growers’ Association for comment on the wage increase.

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