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PNG Minimum Wage Review overdue

Papua New Guinea’s Minimum Wage Review is overdue by three years.

This is the review that sets the terms and conditions for workers’ wages and the minimum wage that they should be getting while trying to keep up with the cost of living.

Papua New Guinea Trade Union Congress (PNGTUC) Assistant General Secretary Anton Sekum told NBC News, that the last review was for 2013-2014 and another should have been conducted in 2017.

Mr. Sekum says the focus of the minimum wage review should not be based on the businesses but on the families and their livelihoods.

He says there is an urgent need for the National Government to immediately convene a Minimum wage board that fully represents employees and employers alike and also work on the terms of reference that can clearly capture the interests of all parties.

Meantime, the Trade Union Congress is calling for the minimum wage for workers in the country to be increased from K3.50 to K5.

Mr. Sekum echoed this, describing the call to increase as ‘long overdue.’

He says it’s been three years since the last review in 2013-14 and the cost of living has sky rocketed therefore the need for this.

Since the start of the minimum wage reviews in 2008 at K2.29 per hour, the rate has only ever increased by a few toeas reaching K3.20 at 2013-2014 and then onto K3.36 in 2015 and eventually K3.50 in 2016.

If the calls for the K5 increase this year is heeded, it will the mark the first time for an increase by a kina fifty toea – a small but significant step forward for workers throughout the country.

NBC News/ PNG Today

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