The Congress government in the Botanical Gardens is hopeful of having new legislation in place to cover an increase in the Minimum wage for low income earners by January 2024.
This was disclosed by Minster of Labour, Senator Claudette Joseph who is also the island’s Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, at a government-sponsored Town Hall meeting in Westerhall, St George.
Sen. Joseph told a packed hall comprised mainly of supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) that a series of consultations has just started to address the issue which was highlighted in the 2023 budget that was delivered in December by Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.
The last time the minimum wage in Grenada was increased was in 2011 under a previous Congress government headed by then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
According to Sen. Joseph, the average minimum wage on the island is about $750.00 a month and the new government has decided “to pay attention to this matter” as it is considered to be below the poverty line.
She said the government knows that some persons in the country earn between $625.00 to as much as $1000.00 but that still leave them “struggling quite a lot” to live a decent standard of life.
She stated that the Congress administration believes that adjusting the minimum wage will assist greatly “in creating greater equity among our people and more opportunities for prosperity.”
A Minimum Wage Advisory Council was established on September 1 by government and has been working over the months to try and bring about an improvement in the salaries paid to low income earners in the country.
Sen. Joseph disclosed that this body is now at the stage where public consultations have commenced with the first such session involving the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC) and the Grenada Employers Federation (GEF).
She said that consultations will continue during the rest of the month with the hope that all stakeholders will get involved at this stage of the process.
“We will be engaging not just employers but government employees, workers in all the various sectors,” she told the gathering.
“We are looking to expand the different categories that are covered by the Minimum Wages to include the creative industry – for example people working in the ICT and Technology sector, media workers and any other groups that may come forward during the consultations.
The senior government minister pointed out that after the consultations are held government “will go back and do the revamp and make a presentation to the Cabinet which we hope will be accepted and passed into law.”
Sen. Joseph is hopeful that by January 2024 “we would have new minimum wages for all of the categories of workers and more covered by the Minimum Wages Order.”