Ryerson gears up for minimum wage hike

Photo by Amanda Skrabucha.

According to Ryerson’s preliminary estimates, Ontario’s $15 minimum wage, starting in January 2019, will cost $1 million in the first two years. The hourly rate for minimum wage earners rose from $11.60 to $14 this year.

The cost of higher pay “will be absorbed by the units affected,” Ryerson’s human resources manager Monika Dascosta wrote in an email statement.

Entry-level support positions and work study roles encompass the job roles that will earn the $14 rate, she said.

The Ontario government’s announcement to raise the minimum wage came nearly six months after Carrie-Ann Bissonnette, strategic projects liaison at the Student Learning Centre (SLC), had submitted her department’s budget for the May 1, 2017, to April 20, 2018, fiscal year. She said she managed to avoid staffing and scheduling cuts to her 31 frontline staff thanks to “smart planning.”

Bissonnette said she will account for the 2019 wage increase when submitting the SLC’s budget request for the next fiscal year.

Cooks, front desk staff, cashiers, mail room, and production assistants all earn this rate, according to Ryerson’s human resources page. It states that workers whose roles include “copy typing; filing; photocopying/scanning; providing courteous and efficient service to customers/clients; responding to inquiries; processing orders,” may also be affected.

However, not all such jobs are affected.

Jennifer Stacey, general manager of the Ryerson Student Centre, said her staff, whose “roles range from line cook to dishwasher, conference service staff to pub and cafe servers, and some administrative roles,” are unionized and already earn more than minimum wage. She oversees 90 part-time and 20 full-time workers.

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