The National Wage Committee/ El Comité Nacional de Salarios (CNS) approved a 17% increase on the minimum wages.
I posted about the Dominican Republic minimum wage debates before. Employers wanted a 11% increase and the workers wanted a 30% increase. So a compromise was made. The last time the minimum wage went up was in June 2009.
The agreement takes effect June 1, when the minimum wages/ salario mínimo will go from RD$8,465 to RD$9,905; RD$5,820 to RD$6,810, and RD$5,158 to RD$6,035.
It is incredible that the Dominican farm workers pay for a 10 hour day was only RD$175 and now it will be RD $205. A private watchmen, those guys that sit around businesses and homes guarding now make RD$7,142, will be paid RD$8,356 per month.
The trade union leaders also made other agreements working toward improving working conditions, the social security system and to coordinate actions to address the growing informal economy.
Even though minimum wage will be more the beginning of June this increase still does not cover the average cost of living which is around RD $ 10,407.56 for a normal family.
Here are a few interesting notes.
-Two out of every ten High School graduates are unemployed and among those who manage to work, nearly half or them has an income below the legal minimum wage.
-Electric bills increased 8% without improving the service. An normal household with a refrigerator, running a few fans, a television, no hot water heater, without air conditioning using the minimal electricity will pay an average of RD $2000 a month.