Questions for the NWC

The National Wage Council (NWC) which is made up of the tripartite body – unions, employers and the government – usually puts out its recommendations for wage adjustments within the unionised and non-unionised sectors around this time of the year. It takes into consideration factors such as productivity growth, employment situation and economic growth etc.

But before the guidelines for this year are put out, let’s ask a few questions:


1.) Are the NWC guidelines pre-fixed?

Have the guidelines been pre-fixed by the authorities even before they are put out for companies to adhere to? Who do they consult to get relevant information before recommending the guidelines?


2.) Why does it look so similar every year?

Last year’s guidelines proposed that low-wage workers’ wages be given a built-in increase of at least $60 for those earning up to $1,000. This was similar to the recommendations which were given in 2013.

In 2012, NWC made the recommendation for at least $50 built-in wage increases for low-wage workers earning a basic monthly salary of up to $1,000. So why do the recommendations look similar every year?

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3.) Compulsory or not?

If the guidelines can really help workers of lower-income, why not make these recommendations compulsory?

Recommendations and guidelines only serve as a guideline, means companies are free to go with it or not.


4.) Can low-wage workers really benefit from these recommendations?

Would a $60 increase in salary really be enough? How can this recommendations tie in with NTUC’s Progressive Wage Model which also has a wage component? Why can’t there be a more substantial increase of say $100 a year?


5.) How can workers other than low-wage workers be included as well?

Can lower-middle income earners benefit from the NWC recommendations as well? How can the NWC include the sandwiched class in helping them improve their lives as well?

The NWC recommendations for this year should be released over the next few weeks, what are some of the guidelines that you hope will be included in this year’s recommendations?





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