St. Kitts – Nevis Cabinet Moves Closer On Minimum Wage

St. Kitts - Nevis Government Cabinet Room

St. Kitts Government Cabinet Room
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, Saint Kitts – Nevis
JULY 23RD 2008 (CUOPM)

The St. Kitts Cabinet moved closer to deciding on an increase in the minimum wage on Monday during a routine Cabinet meeting on Monday.

The present EC$6.25 per hour for unskilled workers and EC$7.50 per hour for semiskilled workers in the hotel, casino and other related workers were legislated by the St. Kits – Nevis Labour Government in 2004.

Acting Minister of National Security, Immigration and Labour, Dr. Hon Earl Asim Martin submitted to Cabinet several recommendations for consideration.

Dr. Martin updated Cabinet on a consultative session which took place in June among a wide group of stakeholders with the objective of discussing the high cost of living and the minimum wage.

He informed Cabinet that several views expressed at the stakeholders meeting included the dramatic increase in the cost of living the world over and that there should be no resistance to the recommendation to increase minimum wages for a full 40-hour work week.

It was of the view of the stakeholders that productivity, performance and wage increases go hand in hand, and that this fact should be taken into account in arriving at a position where the minimum wage is concerned.

It was also suggested that government and private sector should be prepared to absorb the economic impact of a possible wage increase and that it would be useful to explore the establishment of different minimum wage rates for employees within different economic sectors or operating at different levels of skill.

Specific recommendations regarding a proposed increase in the minimum wage were received from the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union, the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Hotel and Tourism Association, the Contractors Association, the Department of Gender Affairs, the private security sector and the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

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