A re-elected Liberal Government will modernize various labour laws with the ultimate goal of ensuring that New Brunswick workers have at least the same protections as Canadians in other parts of the country.
Gallant specified that a re-elected Liberal Government would seek to partner with the Government-Labour Steering Committee and other stakeholders to modernize the Employment Standards Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Industrial Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act, and the Civil Service Act.
Over the course of its previous mandate, the Gallant Government has made protecting workers a priority. In 2017, a Government-Labour Steering Committee was established to give workers a voice at the table when decisions are being made. As a result of that partnership, the Gallant Government has accomplished the following over the course of its previous mandate:
- Caught up with the rest of the country by becoming one of the last provinces in Canada to have first contract arbitration legislation;
- Provided paid leave and job protection for victims of domestic, partner and sexual violence who need to take time off of work;
- Added workplace harassment and violence protections to the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
- Supported enhancements to the Canadian Pension Plan;
- Expanded pay equity to all parts of the civil service by December 2018;
- Created a Family Day holiday in February
“A re-elected Liberal Government will create a fair economy by helping workers and their families through raising the minimum wage to $14, freezing power rates for four years, and strengthening labour laws,” said Gallant.
Gallant recently announced that a re-elected Liberal Government will increase the minimum wage even further in its next mandate, moving from the current $11.25 to $14 per hour by 2022. The Gallant Government had previously raised the minimum wage four times since 2014, representing a 12.5% bump and increasing the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage earner by over $2,500 more per worker.
Under this Liberal Government, wages have grown every year, and in 2016, average hourly earnings in New Brunswick grew by 3.2 per cent, which was the largest increase among Canadian provinces, and in 2018 the average hourly earnings in New Brunswick are on track to grow by more than 3 per cent yet again.