Dominica’s minimum wage could be increased by up to 50% based on recommendations made to government

If the Dominica government accepts the recommendations of a tripartite committee, most categories of wage earners in Dominica could be in line for an over fifty percent increase in pay.

The committee, consisting of representatives of the private sector, the government and the unions, was appointed in 2019 to review the minimum wage and to make recommendations to the minister responsible for labour.

The committee’s recommendations were presented to the government some months ago and Dominica News Online (DNO) has learned that increases ranging from 25% to 50% have been proposed for nine (9) existing categories of workers while five new classifications have been recommended. The recommended rates range from $5.00 to $9.00 depending on the category. The committee also recommended that the minimum wage should be reviewed every three years. (The full list of recommended rates from the committee is posted below).

Dominica’s minimum wage, which was last changed in June 2008, is currently EC$4.00 per hour for agricultural and unskilled labour.

In apparent reference to the committee’s report, Minister for National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore, said recently that the government was in the process of “actually taking the requisite steps and to further adjust the minimum wage as was actually promised before the elections.”

The minister challenged reports that Dominica’s minimum wage is the lowest in the OECS noting that there were various categories of workers including unskilled workers, home assistants, shop assistants, receptionists, among others and explained that a receptionist will carry a higher minimum wage than somebody who is working as a labourer or an unskilled worker.

“So the notion that Dominica is the lowest as we speak, is not true,” he said.

However, according to Blackmoore, the government has recognized the need for a further adjustment of the minimum wage.

“As we speak, we have a measure before cabinet looking at the further adjustment of the minimum wage and that will be done as we promised before and we have heard the Prime Minister make reference to that,” the minister said recently on DBS Radio.

But General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang, has said that he is “very disappointed” that the new rates have not yet been implemented given the fact that the committee’s report was submitted through the Labour Division, to the minister responsible for labour, several months ago.

Letang took the opportunity to renew his call for a trade union congress which he believes would have been able to pressure the government to do something about the minimum wage.

He says the only two unions in Dominica that have been actively advocating for a congress are the DPSU and the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union led by Kertist Augustus.

“I believe some people are not taking it seriously. Some people are just pretending to have the interest of working people at heart but they don’t.” he said.” And I believe that what workers in Dominica need to do is to put pressure to bear on those who are at the leadership of the trade union movement and who are not pushing [for the trade union congress] and coming up with all kinds of nonsense.”

The DPSU official said he was preparing a letter to be sent other trade unions on the island inviting them to a meeting later this month, “to revisit the whole question about the trade union congress.”

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5 Comments

  1. Truth Be Told
    January 13, 2021

    The level of ignorance and stupidity displayed by the Minister for National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore, my primary school students know that he has used false comparators. Look at the nonsense:
    “The minister challenged reports that Dominica’s minimum wage is the lowest in the OECS noting that there were various categories of workers including unskilled workers, home assistants, shop assistants, receptionists, among others and explained that a receptionist will carry a higher minimum wage than somebody who is working as a labourer or an unskilled worker. “So the notion that Dominica is the lowest as we speak, is not true,” he said.
    But what the Minister was supposed to compare is the minimum wage in Dominica with the wage paid for that same category worker in other OECS countries. He should compare Dominica minimum wage for a labourer with the wage for labourers in the OECS, and the Dominica minimum wage for a receptionist with that of the OECS. Heaven help…

  2. Mary Boyfriend
    January 12, 2021

    Based on the existing rates and the proposed rates, Dominica has the lowest minimum wages in the OECS… No wonder Mary always thiefing Madam sugar, flour, rice and klim. And last week she say Mary volere piece of ham and piece of turkey from the ham and turkey the PM send for her for Christmas.

    Mary is probably the only Workers that don’t get neither ham nor turkey.

  3. J.John-Charles
    January 12, 2021

    I can remember paying my workers $35 to $40 per day on my vegetable farm, before the year 2000 . When you hear per day, it was 7 am -1.00 pm and that was if I am present.
    Government telling employers how much to pay. Is it really relevant? Since the farmers, for example, always pay more.
    The coming administration in the U.S. is going to make it unlawful to pay any employee under $15 per hour.
    I don’t know how helpful this will be.One thing for sure, the small business which is struggling, will have to lay off some of its workers or close down. And others who are planning to start a little business and don’t have a large capital is doom to failure.So established companies like Walmart and others may reduce workers and still pass the extra cost on consumers.
    I like a market economy. Like in the. 1980s there was a demand for farm workers. So we paid the farmers more.I don’t much about manufacturing.

  4. Ibo France
    January 12, 2021

    Dominicans will continue, for the foreseeable future, to be dispossessed and live in abject poverty.

    Here is the inconvenient truth. Your oppressor will never concede anything to the oppressed unless these people take the bull by the horn and agitate rigorously and vigorously for changes.

    The changes in the minimum wage were promised prior to the last general election by the present dishonest regime. Now that they have regained power, even though by fraudulent means, an increase in the minimum wage was just an election gimmick.

    This ruling Ham & Turkey administration majors in bogus promises and fat lies and minors in changes that will affect a large swath of the citizenry in a positive and profound manner.

    For umpteen of years this very regime has promised the people geothermal energy, intl’ airport, electoral reforms, increase pay for public servants to no avail.

    I’ll repeat this. A people get exactly what they deserve. Dominicans deserve Skerrit.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  5. Covid 21
    January 12, 2021

    What a joke! So long Haitians drawing $ 15 an hour. Woy!!. Nothing less than $100 for their day. .and the chineese paying dominicans $4. An hour.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

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