LABOUR MINISTER: CEPEP and URP to get 15% increase on new Minimum Wage

Date: 
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 08:00

Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, has confirmed that CEPEP and URP workers will have their wages upgraded to the new minimum wage, before their proposed 15 per cent increase is added.

The Labour Minister says Government had hoped to increase the Minimum Wage to as much as $18.25, but the economy would not have sustained such a steep rise.

Minister Baptiste-Primus says the Opposition is condemning Government for giving Minimum Wage earners only $17.50… but the reality is that workers need the current increase, and are happy to have it, because every little bit extra in their pay-packets goes a long way.

The minister says Government will re-visit the Minimum Wage at some future point when the economy can sustain another increase.

The labour minister is urging businesses to sit with the workers representatives to discuss how to get more productivity from the workers who will be getting a higher minimum wage. She also is advising workers and unions who think the 2-dollar-50-cents increase is not enough, to fight for more on another day.

During the 2020 Budget Presentation, the Finance Minister indicated that the On-The-Job Trainee Programme will increase the number of participants by 10 per cent.

Minister Baptiste-Primus says the determination was made as to how large the increase should be, based on the number of people registering as trainees.

She also refutes claims by San Juan Barataria MP, Dr Fuad Khan, that OJTs would be receiving exorbitant salaries.

She points out that the Programme originally began—in 2002, under former prime minister, the late Patrick Manning—as a way to ensure that graduates between 18 and 35 years, would be able to gain much needed work experience. At that time, most companies had called for work experience in addition to their qualifications. The Minister notes that the OJTs are only allowed to remain in the Programme for 24 months, or two years, the minimum amount of work experience companies require.

At present, there are roughly 5,000 OJTs in the Programme, which will increase to 8,000.

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Story by NEWS DESK

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