Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
The minimum wage in the private sector is an area of focus of the new People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government, Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton said at a news conference on Monday.
Hamilton, disclosed that under the former APNU+AFC Coalition Administration, a tripartite committee was convened where the issue of increasing the minimum wage in the Private Sector was tabled. However, the group has not met since last year to resolve the issue. “I am told that there is a tripartite committee comprising representatives from Labour, Government and the business community who met and discussed this matter, and a proposal is on the table to increase that. However, this was since last year, and since that time, the tripartite committee has not engaged again,” the Labour Minister said.
Minister Hamilton further stated that he has instructed the Chief Labour Officer to hold an urgent meeting so that the issue can be properly addressed. He noted that the Private Sector has also raised the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its impact on the Business Sector. According to the Minister, the meeting is scheduled to be held within the next two weeks where the issues will be raised.
“When the tripartite committee meets very urgently, maybe next week or the following week, we will have to discuss it and see how best we can keep the agreement the three entities they had regarding this matter since 2019 and we bring it to a conclusion.” The former Administration was unsuccessful in its attempts to increase the minimum wage from the current $44,200 in the Private Sector. When the tripartite committee meets, it will deliberate the proposal made in 2019, to increase the minimum for Private-Sector employees to $60,000.
Meanwhile, the minimum wage in the private sector has been significantly low under the APNU+AFC government the minimum wage in the public service increased steadily. Back in November last year, then Finance Minister, Winston Jordan announced that the minimum basic salary in the public service will climb to $70,000 from $64,200. Jordan said then that effectively, between July 1, 2015 and January 1, 2019, the coalition government had increased the minimum wage by more than 76%, a considerable increase.