In an effort to bump Saskatchewan’s minimum wage from $10.96 to $15 an hour, students at the University of Regina held a petition blitz to gain support through signatures on Friday.
“In my opinion, it’s an absolute travesty that anyone who’s working full time in this province can’t afford just the basic necessities,” said Nick Day, student organizer with the international movement Fight for 15.
With a clipboard and pen in hand, Holly Robinson, a third-year education student, was reaching out to those passing by for signatures.
As someone who balances three part-time jobs, a mortgage and being captain of the Cougars women’s rugby team, Robinson said $4.04 more an hour would be life changing for her.
“I could probably cut back (on working) a little bit so that I didn’t need to schedule every second of my life to try and make money,” the 22-year-old explained, adding lots of other university students are in the same situation.
“We’re struggling. We need to live and pay rent here, and a lot of us don’t have parents who are paying our tuition.”
Meanwhile, Day said young people only make up a fraction of minimum wage earners.
“People think, ‘Oh, it’s just teenagers picking up a little extra beer money,’ but the fact is most of these workers — 76 per cent of workers earning less than $15 — are over the age of 20,” he explained.
“Thirty-three per cent are over the age of 35, so these are adults trying to support their kids, trying to make ends meet and the simple fact is everyone deserves a living wage.”
By noon, Day said they had received hundreds of signatures in favour of the increase.
The petition blitz was held in solidarity with those rallying across the country in response to some Ontario Tim Hortons locations slashing workers’ benefits and breaks after the province recently raised its minimum wage.