NWC recommends $60 pay increase

According to the Straits Times news report ”More needs to be done to make jobs better for low-wage workers: Lim Swee Say” (May 31)  – “Low-wage workers are set for another pay increase after the NWC recommended a minimum $60 increase for those earning a basic salary of up to $1,100 a month.


127,000 workers’ pay below $1,100?

The move, which works out to be at least a 5.5 per cent pay rise, could benefit at least 127,000 workers, if all employers follow the recommendations.”

Don’t you find it shocking that there are 127,000 workers whose basic pay is below $1,100?


More or less low-wage workers?

As to “”I think we are very happy that for the last…three years or so with the wage guidelines for low-wage workers, we have succeeded in reducing the number of workers earning less than $1,000 from about 10th percentile to today about 7th percentile,” said Mr Lim.” – Shouldn’t we be talking about the percentage that is below $1,100, instead of $1,000?

Since inflation was about 8 per cent in the last three years – the equivalent of $1,000 now is about $1,080.


Yet another recommendation for low-wage workers

The National Wages Council (NWC) had recommended in its annual wage guidelines last year, that workers earning less than $1,000 each month should get a pay hike of at least $60 , which followed its previous recommendations in 2012 and 2013 that these workers receive minimum pay hikes of $50 and $60.

So, after so many years of recommendations to increase pay by $50 to $60 a year – why is it that there are still so many, and apparently more of such low-wage workers?

6 in 10 followed the guidelines?

Is it due to the fact that only about six in 10 employers accepted the recommendations in 2013, compared to three in 10 in 2012?

What we need to know is the percentage of such workers who received the recommended increase, instead of what proportion of employers or unionised companies who were surveyed accepted the recommendations or said that they intended to do it?


Only 3 in 10 actually received the recommended pay increase?

In this connection,  for 2012 – more than 70% did not get the recommended increase.

In 2013, only 3 in 10 workers earning less than $1,000 received the at least $50 increment recommended by the NWC in 2012.


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