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Basic Wage Should Be Raised by Over 3% This Year: CLA Minister

2011/04/22 | By Philip Liu

Taipei, April 22, 2011 (CENS)--Basic wage appears destined to increase again, as Jennifer Wang, minister of the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), expressed hope yesterday (April 21) to raise the basic wage again this year at a scale of over 3%.

At the Legislative Yuan, Wang remarked that the basic wage is still low, despite a 3.47% hike last year, and should be raised at a scale higher than the imminent pay hike for public functionaries, which is set at 3%.

Meanwhile, the CLA is studying the feasibility of cutting the weekly working time for laborers to 40 hours, so that they can also have two days off a week, similar to public functionaries.

Wang pointed out that the basic wage has risen by NT$600 to NT$17,880, from NT$17,280 originally, from January 1 this year, but the scale of hike, at 3.47%, is insufficient, due to the low base. She, therefore, wished that the basic-wage evaluation committee can raise the basic wage again, at a scale higher than 3%, when it convenes in July.

With a 3% hike, the basic wage will be increased by NT$536 to NT$18,416, benefitting some 1 million laborers. If materialized, this will be the third hike for the basic wage in five years.

Wang made the remark in response to calls from Lawmaker Ho Tsai-feng of the ruling Kuomintang, who noted that after the 3% hike, every public functionary will see their monthly pay increase by NT$2,230 on average. Therefore, the basic wage should be raised to NT$20,110, according to Ho. Presently, said Ho, 1.61 million workers are still receiving pays lower than the basic wage and 2 million laborers have wages lower than NT$20,000.