Big pay rise in private sector

The government has announced a rise of between 25 per cent and 65 per cent in the minimum wage of workers in the private sector. 

The change takes effect from July, about five years after the first attempt to do so failed.

The Labour and Employment minister, Ms Gaudensia Kabaka, told the National Assembly yesterday that her ministry has successfully completed a research as well as consultations and minimum wages for employees in 12 sub-sectors of the private sector will be raised officially on July 1.

“My ministry has thoroughly researched and consulted with employers in the 12 sub-sectors within the private sector and arrived at a conclusion that basic salaries should be raised on July 1, 2013,” she said, moving a motion requesting the National Assembly to endorse a total of Sh14.959 billion for her ministry in the 2013/14 financial year.

The pay rise comes in the wake of consultations with the private sector, employers and workers’ unions. 

The minimum wage for a worker in the industry and trade sub-sector will go up by 25 per cent. In the hotel and home services sub-sector, it will rise by 55.2 per cent.

The statutory basic salary for workers in the private security sub-sector will go up by 46.4 per cent. Their counterparts in the mineral sub-sector will enjoy a 25.2 per cent boost to their basic salaries. Workers earning basic salaries in the fisheries and marine sub-sector will earn 21.2 per cent more while those in the health sub-sector will get the highest increase--a cool 65 per cent.

The statutory basic salary for workers in the transport sub-sector will go up by 49 per cent while the basic salary in the agriculture sub-sector will rise by 42.9 per cent.

“We have also raised basic salaries for four new sub-sectors--construction, private schools, energy and communication,” she said, noting that inflation and the need to protect investments were considered in upgrading the basic salaries.

The decision to raise statutory minimum wages for private sector employees comes after years of debate dating back to November 2007, when employers put up stiff resistance to an abrupt increase.

The Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) said the 25 per cent award in the industries and trade sub-sector was “reasonable”. 

The organisation’s member had recommended that same figure to the wage board.

CTI Executive Director Christine Kilindu told The Citizen: “We are ready to pay the amount recommended in the budget speech but if there are any additional changes in the wage order (to be published later in the Government Gazette) against our proposal, we will hold further consultations.”

Representatives of employers and workers said they were consulted during the crafting of new wages but they would have to establish the details of the wage order before making any comments. 

The secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (Tucta), Mr Nicholas Mgaya said: “Let’s wait for the government wage order to get a clear picture.”

Tucta will carry out an evaluation of the wage order before deciding what to do, he added. The unionists also intend to meet President Jakaya Kikwete after the budget parliamentary session in June to discuss worker demands.

“If there are any complaints, we will not hesitate to tell the President,” Mr Mgaya added.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Samwel Kamndaya in Dodoma
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