Minimum wage figure to be revealed April

| 17/03/2015 | 26 Comments
Cayman News Service

Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs (Photo courtesy GovTV)

(CNS): The employment minister has stated that a report by the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly when it meets next month, making it a public document and revealing the recommended figure. Tara Rivers said last Friday that she had received a copy of a comprehensive study of implementing a basic national wage, which may impact around 30% of the workforce.

In a release Monday, ministry officials said it had taken the committee nine months to do the research and that the work is the first of its kind in Cayman but no one is giving away the recommended figure yet.

Over 100 pages long, the “Report on Establishing a Minimum Wage Regime in the Cayman Islands” includes the details of the MWAC’s recommendations for a minimum wage figure and the components necessary for it to be implemented locally.

“The report is of a high quality and demonstrates the analysis undertaken by the committee.  It will greatly assist the government in making its final decisions,” Employment Minister Tara Rivers said. “As a country we can now finally move beyond just talking about this issue without the benefit of understanding the implications to the labour market and to those most affected.”

The report, which has now gone to Cabinet, includes details of the public consultation process. Officials said 2,792 people and organizations took part in the process, but a large part of the report is supported by the advice and analysis of the committee’s technical assistant from the International Labour Organization.

Since this exercise was the first of its kind to be conducted in the Cayman Islands, it was important for the MWAC to be guided by an experienced labour economist on the data needed to determine a minimum wage and on how other countries had gone about implementing and maintaining a minimum wage regime, government stated.

Lemuel Hurlston, who chaired the committee, thanked and commended everyone but gave nothing away regarding the content of the report, which came in well under budget. Having set aside CI$200,000 to do the work, the final bill was just CI$80,000.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Jobs, Local News, Politics

Comments (26)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Bluff Patrol says:

    Probably another well penned report that will never see implementation.

    I don’t know what the report’s authors’ found but a benchmark is the recent report out of the USA where Target and other retailers recently started paying $9/hr as the minimum wage. We all know the cost of living in the US is lower than Cayman’s cost of living so the report should come back with a higher per hour figure than $9.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand what people mean when then talk about a non-liveable wage. Surely any wage is a better wage than zero? If 5 per hour is non-liveable then what does that make unemployed?

  3. Anonymous says:

    If they enforce the minimum wage in the same way they enforce the labor and pension law, employers don’t have really anything to worry about and employees won’t have anyone in Gov to back them up in case of wrong-doing by the employer.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Every time minimum wage comes up in a discussion, it is about the rich (and wannabe rich) not willing to share with the poor.

    It has nothing with inflation. That starts when the wage goes to 50 an hour.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the hand out mentality that rules the world and forces a system of a citizenship that a few supply the many through tax and high minimum wage.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your statement is correct, only if everybody would be rich.
        Unfortunately we need people to clean yards, pick up the garbage, etc etc.
        Don’t you feel these people have a right to a nice life ? Or is it only YOU ?

    • Anonymous says:

      How ignorant can you make a statement. Increase the cost of doing business and a business will not absorb it, the consumer will. Share…………………no what is being stated is forced to give. Being Caymanian is not a degree, but a passport. You c cannot demand more money because of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wasn’t talking about Caymanians.
        I meant a fair share of the wealth for doing the work others don’t have to do.

        Not all of us have the capabilities or opportunities to make good money. This does not mean that YOU have to treat them as garbage.

        • Anonymous says:

          So since I worked hard and used what I had at my disposal I need to share that with others, so my children are more disadvantaged because I cannot profit as much. We are not talking slaves but medial jobs that do not demand high pay. Reality check is in order here. The poor want the rich to GIVE them the fruits of their labour. This is not a private market problem but a government one where this one has failed their people with poor policing and education. Opportunity is what you make of it. Being born in another country that is economically challenged is a bad break and the quality and equality of life is poor, but you do not go and demand more in another person country because you are from their. Furthermore if you were born here, it is your own pride,lack of ambitions and stupidly that you cannot make what is called a livable wage. Will it be enough, for sure not, but the businesses are not social services and the free loading on them in the name of humanity has to stop. Between the duties/tax cost of doing business now inflated salaries……………see how this works out in 3 years. You will have just a few rich companies that can weather the storm and a boat load of people trapped just below and lower then lower middle class.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If this is set at anything above 4.50 an hour, you will see a very unfavorable cause and effect take place. It is ignorant to adopt an increase in wages and not expect the costs of goods and services inflate. Further added to this situation is that once you raise the minimum wage, the employees who are above the lower pay scale now are going to be brought closer to the new minimum and thus demand an increase in their wages as they are not going to perform or work for “close to minimum wage”. This is an economic holocaust that needs to be arrested before the obvious destruction it will cause, is endured by this country. It is noble to.want to help your people, but at the sametime ignorant and poor leadership to inflict this kind of pain and burden on employers in a fragile economy. With this new era you can subtract within 2 years, 30% of your businesses and a 40% increase in most goods and services and a guaranteed increase of unknown numbers of criminal activities. Implementing this will hurt the very people it is intended to help. What would be a viable approach is to promote education and arm the citizens with the skills needed to gain employment that attracts higher livable wages, not demand hand outs from businesses. It is time for the younger people to put the spliffy,Redstripe and crack pipe down and make yourselves an attractive asset to a business.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bla bla bla. Its the same old argument used everywhere in the world when a minimum wage is muted. But guess what, in each and every country where a minimum wage has been implemented it has not led to in the long term to what you say. In fact in many cases it is the opposite. What is the problem with a fair days wage for a fair days work.

      • Anonymous says:

        Show the facts where in many cases that the opposite is true. What is true is that someone who is a file clerk or hamburger maker is not in an employment opportunity that begs a salary of someone who says is a senior bank teller.

      • Anonymous says:

        Define “Fair”…. and who will be the evaluator of “Fair”… You? government? Why not make the minimum wage 100.00 an hour and get rid of poverty from the start?

    • Anonymous says:

      So you think that of the price of milk (6 $) about 2.40$ (40%) is labor cost ?

      • Anonymous says:

        You factor in salary,overtime wages and pension contributions , you are about right. Most people ignorantly believe that for e.g. a business pays 5.00 an hour to an employee, that they are grossing 25.00 an hour off of that persons labour, but in all actuality they are only grossing 10.00 an hour. If you increase the salary, the pesnsion contributions go up too. So what does the store that sells milk do? They pass the extreme new costs onto the consumer. If you believe that Labour prices do not have a direct effect on goods and services, why is it the United States and other countries outsource as much work as possible. It is to keep costs down in order to sell the goods at a lower price and make profit. You make a high minimum wage and you will pay a lot more then $6.00 for milk. What the low class masses do not comprehend is that businesses are not social welfare, but are in business to profit. Most businesses are operating at a very narrow profit margain.

        • Anonymous says:

          Milk is worldwide about 1.50 $ per quart. In these countries the minimum wages vary from 3$ to 15$ an hour.
          Something is wrong with your statement.
          Most of the time prices are set on what the market can afford.
          Therefor an increase in wages results initially in an increase in the price of products.
          And here we probably differ in opinion. I feel the excessive profits of most companies needs to be taxed to feed the poor.
          We can not ALL be rich.

  6. cathy Better says:

    Seattle decided to raise their minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour. called it a “liveable wage”.

    Restaurants are now having to close because they won’t be able to operate with a 15 minimum wage.

    You can’t just raise a basic wage for everyone without raising the price on everything else. That’s not how economics works.

    • B. N. Onneste says:

      Cathy, you are 100% correct. You cannot raise wages without also driving up prices, which drives inflation to higher levels…… then everyone suffers.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is the customer who subsidizes the low wage of restaurant staff by having a 15 or 20 percent service charge which needs to be paid so that the staff get a liveable wage.

    • cathy Better says:

      I can’t see how anyone can disagree with this statement. It’s not my statement. It’s fact. I am merely copy and pasting the URL to facts. That are happening in Seattle right now, due to the raise in minimum wage.

      How can you possibly disagree with that?

      That’s like disagreeing water is wet. Seattle is seeing business’s close due to a higher minimum wage.

      What do you people think will happen when a minimum wage is introduced to cayman? Think it’s going to stay there forever? No, they will raise it again, and again and again.

      All a minimum wage does is increase inflation as a faster rate than if we just left things alone. And what “increased inflation” means for people who don’t understand what that means. It means, everything will get more expensive.

      It’s that simple. Everything will get more expensive. That is the hard cold truth.

      Look at every country that has a minimum wage. Their economy is tanking. Look at Cayman. No minimum wage, and our economy is doing better then the rest. Think that is a coincidence?

      • Anonymous says:

        There are no Seattle businesses closing due to a higher minimum wage. That is Tea Party rhetoric. Google ‘Seattle minimum wage effects’. Your argument is false and is why everyone is is disagreeing with you. Nothing more.

    • Anonymous says:

      Restaurants should close when the only reason they remain open is because they are paying their staff a non livable wage. Now that is market forces at work. Survival of the fittest and all that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny, in California the exact opposite happened.

      • Anonymous says:

        In California, people are relocating out of the State because of the high costs of living there. Services,goods,taxes are all not conducive to a healthy economic situation. So the high minimum wage does not apply there.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is utter nonsense. People are running out of California and New York for precisely that reason. the gaps between wealthy and poor is at an all time high on those places. The rich can absorb it, the poor leeches off government as usual and the middle class that usually always end up taking the brunt of those pro government vote-buying initiatives, end up leaving.

    • Anonymous says:

      And those businesses that do manage to survive will do so by shrinking their workforce and managing to do more with less in order to cut costs. Thus, unemployment will rise. Good one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.