Minister De Weever: Difference between increase and indexation minimum wage

POSTED: 02/8/13 1:23 PM

St. Maarten –“It is extremely important that Mr. Thompson understands the difference between an increase in the minimum wage and the indexation of the minimum wage,” Minister of Public Health Social Development and Labor, Cornelius De Weever stated in a press release on Wednesday. “Consultations with unions to increase the minimum wage were done years ago when the minimum wage salaries went from 1100 guilders to 1380 guilders,” he said.

Minister De Weever has the authority to index the minimum wage based on article 13, paragraph 1 of the Landsverordening minimumlonen. In accordance with this provision, the minister may, if the statistics provided by the Bureau of Statistics (STAT) indicate that the consumer price index (CPI) figure for August of the current year, compared with the figure for August of the preceding year has changed, establish a new minimum hourly wage.

There is therefore no question of an increase in, but an adjustment to the minimum hourly wage, in this case an increase to the consumer price index (CPI). After all, according to the press release of the Bureau of Statistics (STAT) dated September 14 of last year, the cost of living has increased by 4.7 percent during the period August 2011 to August 2012. The minimum hourly wage was 7.96 guilders, and has been adjusted to 8.33 guilders as of January 1. It is important to note that the last indexation of the minimum hourly wage dates back to September 2008.

“I think that it is important that the minimum hourly wage is indexed annually, that it is adapted to the increased cost of living. By acting accordingly employees who earn the minimum hourly wage retain their purchasing power. So, the cost of living mainly caused by the surge in world oil prices and the related food prices has risen sharply. It is especially the workers with a minimum wage that have experienced the effects of the skyrocketing cost of living in their daily existence, and are experiencing this,” Minister De Weever said.

The indexation of the minimum hourly wage is subject to tripartite consultation, the platform of social dialogue, in which in addition to the government both the representatives of employers, as well as employees are represented. All parties involved reached a consensus with regard to the indexation of the minimum hourly wage. Topics related to the labor market are always put forward by the minister for consultation within this tripartite dialogue. The tripartite dialogue is therefore the central platform for consultation with trade unions. Consultation with the individual trade unions will take place only if the topic concerns the individual trade union. To date, there has been no reason to do so. The SER socio-economic council, another tripartite platform/body, of which Theophilius Thompson is a member was also asked to advice on this matter and strongly supported the indexing of the minimum wage.



Did you like this? Share it:
Minister De Weever: Difference between increase and indexation minimum wage by

Comments are closed.