WageIndicator Newsletter - December 2012
Further expansion of WageIndicator throughout 2013:
Early 2013, Wage Indicator will have a presence in 72 countries, a dozen more than late 2011, when 60 countries participated. The last countries to join the global Wage Indicator network are African: South Sudan, Ethiopia and Burundi. Setting up quarters in these countries will take place early 2013, roll out and consolidation throughout the year. It can therefore be confidently said that the ambitious goal of reaching out to 75 countries, set 5 years ago, is within reach.
Expansion during the first decade of Wage Indicator:
- April 2001: launch of the first website in the Netherlands.
- From 2004 onwards: extension in Europe.
- 2005 and following years: the Americas, India, South Africa.
- Ambitious goal, set in 2008, of reaching out to 75 countries.
- End of 2011: over 60 countries are reached.
- 2012: Wage Indicator in West Africa, from Madagascar deep down under, to the sub-Saharan Atlantic shores.
- Late 2012 a new project was obtained. Through this ‘Living Wage’ project 3 more countries in East Africa, i.e. South Sudan, Ethiopia and Burundi now are also included.
- Early 2013: operations in 72 countries.
Collective agreements collected in West Africa
A global database with collective agreements for comparison and consultation is set up. This new Wage Indicator activity started in francophone Africa in the fall of 2012. The national inventories of collective agreements in Benin, Guinee, Niger, Senegal and Togo (as well as Madagascar) are compiled by the Trade Union partners of Wage Indicator in these countries. The contracts, collected under the supervision of the university of Dar es Salaam(Tanzania), will be formatted using a design prepared by the university of Amsterdam (Netherlands). This format allows for international comparison of the collective agreements that fill up the data base.
Decent Wage Africa http://www.wageindicator.org/main/projects/decent-wage-africa
‘Salary, law, career’ focus of all operations
A new profile has come to pervade all Wage Indicator operations during 2012. It is most visible on the websites. All home pages are divided in three columns, each column giving access to pages answering basic questions that preoccupy working people in many countries. These are:
- what is my wage?
- how to protect it?
- how to improve it?
This information is permanently accessible online as a library of country specific labour market issues. The guiding principle is: what you see is what you get. Thus, all content of the back-up pages is refocused to live up to the expectations prompted by the lead questions on the home page.
Living Wage in the Food Supply Chain
Living wage. What better place to start this project than the food supply chain? In December 2012 green light was given by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the start of the project, which is to unfold in East Africa, from Mozambique all the way up to Egypt. The other countries involved are Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. National partners in these countries are Trade Unions and Employers’ Organisations. International coordination, specialist input and project management are provided by the University of Dar es Salaam, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, University of Amsterdam/AIAS, and the regional offices of Wage Indicator in Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, and Cairo. The focus of the project lies on collecting and publishing reel wages, minimum wage and collective agreements and monitoring improvement in wages.
Minimum Wage Campaigns in Central America for 2013
Wage Indicator will assist Trade Union partners in 5 Central American countries with the roll out of awareness raising campaigns on Minimum Wages in 2013. This is the result of the first year of the Decent Wage Latin America-project that started in the fall of 2011 in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. As part of the project during 2012 some 50 debates were held at the local level with working people, their employers, and labour inspectors. From these debates it clearly emerged that many people simply don’t know about the minimum wage and crucial labour laws. Hence the decision by a special regional meeting in Managua, to design Minimum Wage campaigns for implementation in all 5 countries during 2013.
Renewed Salary Check online in 45 countries
By end of 2012 a renewed version of Salary Checks was brought online. This renewed version is designed to speed up the process of data intake and calculation of Salary Checks for additional occupations. This activity continued steadily throughout 2012, leading up to 45 countries where national Wage Indicator websites now feature this new version. This renewed version allows to by-pass the more extensive questionnaires for generating more salary data in more countries.
Salary Checks in 45 countries
Compliance: it’s the law!
A compliance form for online and offline use is currently developed and published on national Wage Indicator websites for 12 countries. The form is meant to register and submit cases of non-compliance with national legal obligations to pay (at least) the minimum wage. Wage Indicator experienced over the past few years that ignorance and failure to live up to even the minimum (wage) standard is widespread.
The online compliance form (also for print) documents cases of non-compliance. The great advantage of the online format is the easy digital handling of submitted data. Analyses of bottlenecks in implementation of the law can be swiftly made. The results can be passed on with one mouse click to policy makers in the organizations of social partners and the relevant government departments and/or agencies for effective action.
The Pakistani and Indonesian Wage Indicator team have taken the lead in their development, and experienced first encouraging results in their own countries. Early 2013 the format should be user-ready in 12 countries.
f.e. Compliance form Indonesia http://www.gajimu.com/main/gaji/Gaji-Minimum/formulir-pengaduan
Mobile Judge on the move in Mozambique
The instant success of the Mobile Judge in Mozambique points out the viability of the concept. The concept of the Mobile Judge (‘o juiz movel’ in Mozambican Portuguese) was in inspired by a popular Dutch tv-series called ‘judge on wheels’ airing public mediation sessions to solve (usually) local conflicts. Since early 2012 it has been experimented with by the Mozambican Wage Indicator team, in conjunction with a popular national tv-personality. The Meusalario website popularizes the idea that individuals can use publicity to have their pay-problem solved – and indeed bring in good results.