Everybody deserve a decent wage. I remember thinking I was a big deal assistant professional making $13,000 a year and I was proud of it. We’ve all been there, so there is empathy for people trying to improve their individual situations.
When you go from $11 an hour to $15 an hour, which the Alberta government is planning to make the minimum wage by 2018, it’s a huge boost in just a few years.
If you have an entry level person making $11 an hour and the supervisor is making $15 an hour or the sous chef or assistant pro is making $14, a $15 minimum wage suddenly pulls everyone even, which means the supervisors or mid-managers will understandably want more too.
It’s not as if mid-managers are making a lot more than the support staff. They don’t make $27 an hour, so everybody will expect a similar bump as the minimum wage goes up, which means golf operations may need to get leaner when it comes to staffing.
That’s tough for people looking for work and for the operation itself. I’ve always stressed giving people great service and a great experience, but that could be jeopardized by less staff.
The golf business for the past 17 years or so has been getting leaner. It’s not as if we woke up today and suddenly said the industry has too much fat. I would say since about the beginning of the last decade, we’ve been trying to control costs for various reasons.
In 2008-09, it was the global recession and in Alberta the past couple of years, it’s been the economy. Consumers are looking for value over increased price and how often have you heard that affordability is one of the great challenges facing golf, but such a sudden jump in the minimum wage affects are ability to be affordable.
While everyone deserves a fair wage, there are other aspects to consider in this argument.