0

Minimum Wage Rise Recommended

photo

Shane Gibson in the House of Assembly.

THE National Tripartite Council has forwarded a recommendation for a minimum wage increase to Labour Minister Shane Gibson for review and approval.

According to Director of Labour Robert Farquharson, chairman of the council, during the group’s first meeting earlier this month a resolution was adopted for a recommendation for an increase in the national minimum wage.

“That recommendation was submitted to the minister of labour and national insurance for approval of the government,” he added.

In March, Mr Gibson said he was awaiting a recommendation from the group before the government makes a decision on the matter.

Minimum wage in the private sector is $150 a week.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Perry Christie acknowledged that the country’s minimum wage is “not enough” but said the

government would raise it “incrementally” as “circumstances would allow”.

Meanwhile a Bill was passed in the House of Assembly earlier this year to create the tripartite council.

The council has been formally appointed with effect from June 1.

According to Mr Farquharson, the functions and powers of the council include the practise and promotion of tripartism, and using cooperation, consultation, negotiation and compromise of the social partners in order to create and shape social and economic policies and programmes.

The council will also advise the government on the formulation of national policies and strategies on all aspects of labour, productivity, quality and competition.

Mr Farquharson said the National Tripartite Council, over the next few weeks, is expected to ratify a strategic plan in line with statutory objectives.

The members of the council are: Robert Farquharson, chairman; Althea Albury, senior deputy director of labour; Maxine Duncombe, senior Family Island administrator; Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson, general secretary/NCTUB; Theresa Mortimer, 1st vice president/NCTUB; Dr Thomas Bastian, consultant; and from the private sector Edison Sumner, Peter Goudie and Rionda Godet.

Comments

DillyTree 4 years, 5 months ago

No question there needs to be a raise in minimum wage, but the timing, as always, is all wrong. The economy is not good, the so-called 10,000 jobs hasn't materialised, people are already burdened by VAT and a proposed NHI tax. Many businesses, especially small businesses, are just hanging in there. While they may be forced to pay more wages in such an economy, the people will still have a large amount stripped from their pockets before the paycheck even makes it home. And jobs will be lost when the businesses pack up and leave or have to close because they just can't make it anymore. It will be a vicious circle all over again -- and the only one getting benefit will be the government -- not the people and not business.

1

WiseUp 4 years, 5 months ago

Dilly Tree, are you serious? Those are the reasons why the minimum wage needs to increased! Imagine how heavy the burden of VAT feels to the minimum wage earner! We must take the leap and increase the minimum wage now; it will never be the right time otherwise. Furthermore, it cannot be right that we maintain the status quo so as to allow businesses to succeed while their employees can barely make ends meet. Think about living expenses whether it be rent / mortgage payments or a contribution to the family home, utilities, groceries, transportation costs, uniform / clothing costs...imagine trying to satisfy all of those obligations on minimum wage. They're basic needs. Lord help the minimum wage earner with a child or children whose costs are exaggerated. The logic that minimum wage cannot be increased now as businesses will pack up and leave because it's too expensive to do business here cannot be supported. Reason being that no country should use the cheap labour of its people to induce investors or entrepreneurs...

0

TheMadHatter 4 years, 5 months ago

The reason why there IS cheap labour, is because there are TOO MANY people. You talk about affording the cost of children. Shouldn't that be thought about by parents before-hand?

I know cashiers at the grocery store making $180/week and they have 4 children, one of them has 7 children. How in the HELL can you think to raise 7 children on $180/week. Parents are feeding these kids Ramen Noodles - which if you look at the sodium content it is about 780gm vs a bag of potato chips at 160gm - nearly 6 times a much salt !!!!!!

It would be nice to think that if you raised the minimum wage, those parents would then be able to afford a little higher quality food for their children and that they would do that.

But, no, I assure you - they would not. They would only then think they can afford to have MORE children and baby number 8 would be on its way.

Because there are so many people employers can say hey if you want to work for $150/week you can, otherwise I have 47 other applications sitting on my desk from people DESPERATE for work. Baby #8 above will be ONE of those desperate souls when he/she reaches the age of 18.

TheMadHatter

0

MartGM 4 years, 5 months ago

There aren't too many people in the job market. There are too many unskilled laborers in the job market. The minimum wage doesn't apply to skilled labour, especially highly skilled labourers who, for the most part, have the ability to demand their salary.

0

DillyTree 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm very serious, WiseUp. If minimum wages increase now in this economy, jobs will be lost as businesses close and/or downsize, and things will get even worse than they are now. What good is an increase in minimum wage if you have no job to go to?!?

0

ChefSmith 4 years, 5 months ago

Well Dilly Tree and WiseUp......you both have strong talking points. But we do know that some of these business have been using the options of putting staff on 3-4 days work week. Minimum wage is needs to improve like from yesterday. Some of these businesses have been boasting millions of dollars in profits , with little or no incentives for their glorified employees. If you look at some of these financial books you would see where more can be done interns of payout and benefits for the employees. This will be a right step in the Christie led government , shoeing that they care for the poor.

0

Guy 4 years, 5 months ago

Wrong time to increase the wages of workers so they can actually survive?? You gotta be kkidding. You try living on 650.00 a month!

0

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 5 months ago

It is almost impossible to live on 650 per month unless you are living rent and bill free. But VAT had consequences, NHI has consequences and raising the minimum wage will have consequences.

our leaders are all "in a vacuum" thinkers. It would be really nice if they came at these proposals with a systematic approach. Cable 12 had a clip this evening on the national plan in which Felix Stubbs stated that the plan would only work if everyone gave input and it became "our" plan. Absolutely true. I wonder how far they are in the planning and how many Bahamians have been asked for their inputs on the direction of the country. I wonder how many people know they're working on a plan...

0

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 5 months ago

In my opinion, Shane Gibson is the smartest of the lot. 10,000 new jobs based on increased NIB contribution numbers...simple genius.

0

dani 4 years, 5 months ago

Imagine that in Bulgaria the minimum wage is $150 a month. And we buy most of the products from imports, which are imported with the same price from their homecountry. Raise 2 childern with $1500 a year. Lets say your husband makes 150 too, so u got $3k a year to pay your taxes, buy food, keep your children in school, and if you are ignorant, buy some clothes for you and for your kids. http://oferte.info">alex

0

Chucky 4 years, 5 months ago

While it's true Vat has hit everyone, thankfully for us in business, when we pay out vat, we get it all back, so it really only effects us in our private lives, like when we go out for dinner, or buy our wive's and kids new cars, jewelry or clothes. So ultimately, Vat costs our businesses only in the record keeping and remittences, but at home we are paying a lot more vat than our employees.
Personally my living costs run approximately 20 times what my employees earn, so clearly I pay considerably more in VAT than they do. I don't see any reason that we should have to raise minimum wages as Vat has already taken from our pockets. Minimum wages are just that, minimums, If these minimums are raised we shall be forced to layoff workers, and increase the workload on the remaining workforce to keep overall labor costs the same. Perhaps we could find other ways to help our employees such as a seed program and community farms, so they can grow their own food and stretch their dollars. Also, it could be said that lowering minimum wage could improve overall employment numbers, in this economy that sounds a whole lot more practical and beneficial. In a free market system, the market is supposed to decide on things like price and wage levels. There is no shortage in workers at the moment, so what reason could possibly drive up wages. As dani has said, in many countries wages are much much lower, and people are surviving! I wonder what's behind this "raise minimum wage" talk, I haven't seen any indication people are short of money. Do you notice all the folk with fancy wheels on their cars, have a look at any store that sells liquor on Friday, not shortage of money to by booze, drive around on the weekend, people partying everywhere, looks to me like we paying too much to workers already.

1

ohdrap4 4 years, 5 months ago

As dani has said, in many countries wages are much much lower, and people are surviving!

the standard of living is really low in those countries: You live in a slum, you have only 2-3 changes of clothing to go to work, and you eat ramen noodles and clean out the leftover cookies the clients leave in the office. Sometimes the employer will give you some bus tickets as transportation allowances, you sell the tickets then walk 3 hours to get to work.

It has been reported that 43,000 people live below the poverty line in the bahamas.

I wonder what's behind this "raise minimum wage" talk, I haven't seen any indication people are short of money. Do you notice all the folk with fancy wheels on their cars, have a look at any store that sells liquor on Friday, not shortage of money to by booze, drive around on the weekend, people partying everywhere, looks to me like we paying too much to workers already.

the fancy wheels and fancy phones are a rite of passage. you get your first job, then hawk the little money you make to the banker.

rent for a decent apartment runs at $900. so, you live at home, your parents make you pay for household expenses, including clothing and school fees for your brothers and sisters. So rather than pay bill for others, get a salary deduction for a ridiculous car loan, but at least you enjoy the car, or the phone, or the booze yourself.

I can never forget the image of a woman, toothless, dressed in rags with no shoes on I saw at the veterinarian's office. she came to pick up the most beautifully groomed poodle, and she had to pay in advance. it was probably the only comfort she has in life.

1

Chucky 4 years, 5 months ago

What relevance does standard of living have? All people are free to pursue their dreams, be what they want, aint nutting holding them back. Study in the library, get some brains, work hard, succeed. If you aint willing to do that, your standard of living is what you make it.
No shortage of opportunity here, just shortage of willingness to try. A country that makes nutting can support numbers small manufacturing. Make some souvenirs for tourists for instance, anyone can do that. If you live in a dump and below poverty it's because you made your bed.

As for mag wheels and fancy phones being a "rite of passage"; well that just defines your simple mind. You reap what you so! Any idiot that chooses to buy junk over the pursuit of improving their future deserves the few items of junk they buy.

To guarantee a segment of population a half decent income "just because" through minimum wage is to guarantee a segment of population will be useless. Try it yourself, pick a person, spoon feed them, lend them money, set them up in business, give them a job they haven't earned, you will soon see them screw it all up and be back where they started. If people earn their way, then they worked to get there, and work to stay there, anything less is an insult to those of us who try! Don't give anyone nothing!

2

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 5 months ago

That's a nice sentiment and I agree students should be working hard now to ensure when they leave school they have a good job. But have you looked at what is happening to the financial sector? What is happening at Bahamar? Highly skilled workers are losing jobs

In any event the reality is, the poor will always be with us, for "whatever" reason. As a society it's in our best interest to work out a system that is equitable for all. History will tell the sad and horrific tale of societies that broke into chaos when the balance of the scale tipped to far in the direction of the "Have's"

0

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 5 months ago

This is a very very myopic view of the working poor. I have a friend who does not drink, does not gamble, does not party, they work very hard but if they did not have the help of friends and family they would be living on the street today and barely eating. Money goes to rent, gas and food. That's it. This comparison to other countries is a farce. Who knows how much supplies 30dollars buys in Bulgaria or whichever country you want to name. We know for sure It barely sctratches the surface in the Bahamas. It could cost anywhere from 6 to 12 per day to catch a bus to and from work. That's 30-60 per week. The remaining money has to cover clothing, living expenses, light, water, food and gas. This is not easy and it's stressful. I don't believe now is the best time for a wage increase but I believe the government should have taken more care in their duty exemptions to account for the items that people at the lower end of the scale purchase.

0

Chucky 4 years, 5 months ago

Thisisours, I can agree with you on the facts that being poor comes at a different income level here than Bulgaria, quite obviously. However you have not addressed the issue of these people doing something to improve their own situation. Governments can't and shouldn't raise minimum wages to the point where people can live comfortably on them.
People need to be responsible for their own future; government should stick to the basics. Admittedly government has deliberately neglected the education system and chosen to "advance" other areas of society instead, this leaves your average person with a dismal education when coming out of public schools. But we can't expect government to forces businesses to pay high minimum wages, for the same reason we can't expect them to educate a population to the point of being avid critical thinkers; it's simply not in the best interest of the ruling class. Like it or not, society works in a certain way, and to survive and prosper, the only way is to take responsibility for your own life.

0

ted4bz 4 years, 5 months ago

You know what, we don't need the PLP to do this, we don't need them to do anything for the Bahamaian people, simply because they don't do things right, it's always political and we ended up paying for it, we end up paying for NOTHING.

0

duppyVAT 4 years, 5 months ago

Based on empirical information ........... how much does it cost to take care of a single parent family with 3 children paying rent and working a 4-day unskilled job????? That is who minimum wage should cater to in our country.

0

Sign in to comment