Provincial Government Announces Appointments to Minimum Wage Review Committee
October 16, 2019
The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today announced the members of the Minimum Wage Review Committee. Stephen R. Tessier has been appointed as independent chairperson; Allison Doyle is appointed as the employee representative, and Brenda O’Reilly is appointed as the employer representative. Biographies for the three members and the terms of reference are provided in the backgrounder below.
The purpose of the committee will be to solicit targeted stakeholder input and report to the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour with observations, findings and recommendations on the current adjustment process for setting the minimum wage and the wage rate. The committee will begin its work immediately and will report to the minister this fall.
In 2018, the Provincial Government amended the Labour Standards Regulations to set the minimum wage to be increased based on changes to the National Consumer Price Index.
Section 30 of the Labour Standards Act provides for a review of the minimum wage every two years. The most recent regulatory change came into force on April 1, 2018, which means that the next review should occur prior to April 1, 2020.
“Our government has already taken the necessary steps to ensure an annual increase for minimum wage earners. I have full confidence in the members of this independent committee that they will bring forward the perspectives of employees and employers as well as consult on this important matter. This independent review will help to ensure that our labour standards legislation remains relevant, responsive, and comparable to other jurisdictions across the country and is responsive to the needs of employees and employers in this province.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
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Provincial Government to Appoint an Independent Minimum Wage Review Committee
Labour Standards Act and Regulations
Labour Standards Division
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
Biographical Information for Members of the Minimum Wage Review Committee and Terms of Reference
Stephen R. Tessier, Chair
Stephen R. Tessier is a founding partner of WaterWerks Communications Inc. and serves as President of Germondale Holdings Inc. Mr. Tessier is a former Mayor of the Town of Conception Bay South, where he previously served as Deputy Mayor and Councillor and served as chair on a number of committees. He was a founding member of the Conception Bay South Business Improvement Association and has served on the boards of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, both provincially and nationally.
Allison Doyle, Employee Representative
Allison Doyle has been extensively involved in the work of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) . She serves as the Communications Officer and past President of CEIU Local 90113 in St. John’s, NL. She is an ambassador for Positive Space in the workplace and involved in a variety of PSAC Committee’s for human rights, pride, and women’s issues. Ms. Doyle is a delegate to the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour’s Women’s Committee and has volunteered at the St. John’s Status of Women’s Council’s Fem Fest.
Brenda O’Reilly, Employer Representative
Brenda O’Reilly has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality and food service industry and co-owns/operates five food and beverage establishments in St. John’s, such as O’Reilly’s Irish Newfoundland Pub, Mussels on the Corner, and Yellowbelly Brewery and Public House. Ms. O’Reilly served for 19 years on the board of Restaurants Canada and served a two-year term as a Canadian Director on the National Restaurant Board in the United States. She has also served on the St. John’s Board of Trade.
Terms of Reference for Minimum Wage Review Committee
Establish an independent minimum wage review advisory committee to solicit targeted stakeholder input on the minimum wage and to report to the Minister of the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour with observations and findings and provide non-binding recommendations on the current adjustment process for setting the minimum wage and the wage rate.
The minimum wage rate applicable in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is established under the authority of the Labour Standards Act and prescribed under the Labour Standards Regulations.
In 2018 the province set the minimum wage to be increased based on changes to the National Consumer Price Index to maintain a transparent and predictable method for future increases. The Act requires a review of these regulations at least every two years.
Composition of the Committee
The committee shall consist of three to five members, with an equal number of representatives from business and labour as well as at least one independent member. The work of the committee will be supported by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.
Statement of Work
The advisory committee will:
- Undertake a targeted consultation to solicit input on the minimum wage from employees, employers, and interested stakeholders;
- Examine other relevant Canadian jurisdictional approaches to the minimum wage adjustment process and rate;
- Give consideration to the possible impacts of minimum wage to poverty reduction strategies;
- Give consideration to gender, urban/rural balance, as well as Labrador/Indigenous concerns;
- Review the current minimum wage adjustment process and rate to ensure they are relevant and responsive to the needs of employees and employers throughout the province; and
- Report observations and findings, and make recommendations, to the Minister on the minimum wage adjustment process and rate.