Gov’t seeking consensus on private sector workers’ minimum wage

Georgetown, GINA, July 19, 2016

Government, through the Ministry of Social Protection’s Department of Labour will soon begin talks with the private sector and union bodies to review the national minimum wage paid to workers.

The current minimum wage paid to public servants stands at $50,000, while that of private sector employees is about $35,000.  Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott said the intention is to bring the private sector minimum wage in line with that of public servants.

Earlier in the year, the Ministry had reported that they (the ministry) along with the trade union bodies and the private sector had been conducting a country survey to ascertain what the average private sector employee was earning.

During an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister Scott explained that the Ministry’s survey has been completed and is now awaiting the unions and the private sector’s assessment results.

“We are still awaiting the trade unions to submit the results of their survey and the private sector to submit their survey. The last tripartite meeting, they  said to me that they have arrived at their own survey…however the Government already has their survey ready and what we are waiting is for the three to come together and out of that process we will be able have a minimum wage across the board,” Minister Scott explained.

He further noted that the Government is at the point where it is paying a standard minimum wage of $50,000 and, “We can’t force the private sector to pay the minimum wage… but with this tripartite meeting, we are hoping to pay the workers at whatever we arrive at, this is the direction because we want to have the input of the stakeholders.”

Minister Scott pointed out that the Ministry has also been engaging public sector agencies including the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) to comply with the public servants’ minimum wage.

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