Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — Increases in the minimum wage for employees on the industrial site, domestic workers and other employees, as well as salary increases for civil servants and auxiliary workers between 2000 and 2009 have impacted earnings in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas disclosed recently that since taking office in 1995, the work force in St. Kitts and Nevis has increased 50 percent from 18,000 persons to 27,000 persons in 2013 and the income of workers moved from EC$247 million in 1995 to EC$710 million in 2013.
An analysis of the total earning statistics obtained from the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board revealed that in 1991, the total earnings received by employees was EC$236.6 million. Earnings fell to EC$183.8 million or a decrease of 22.3% in 1992 which was due to a decline in the employment level for that year.
In 1993, earnings rose to EC$207.6 million, an increase of 13% over 1992. This increase in earnings could be attributed to an increase in salaries to Public Servants of between 15 percent to 20 percent. In 1994, a decline in earnings was reported as the figure fell to EC$146.7 million. This decrease came about as a result of a reduction in the number of persons employed (just over 1,200) when compared with 1992.
The year 1995, reflected a phenomenal increase in earnings when the figure reached EC$247.8 million or an increase of 69 percent over 1994. This increase was mainly due to an increase in the employment level of just under 4,000 persons.
Total earnings fell to EC$196.6 million in 1996, a decline of 20.7 percent even though there as an expansion of 6 percent in the number of persons employed and a number of private businesses and Statutory Bodies awarded wage increases in the range of 4 percent to 5 percent.
In the following year, 1997, there was a 30 percent increase in earnings (EC$255.4 million) when Civil Servants were paid a 10 percent increase in salary in July 1997. There was a miniscule decline of 0.001percent in 1998 although a number of Private Sector establishments and Statutory Corporations paid wage increases of between 3 percent and 5 percent.
After years of fluctuations in the level of earnings between the years 1991 and 1998, earnings climbed to EC$371.8 million in 1999 as a result of collective bargaining agreements in four private sector businesses and an extra month salary to public sector workers in December (an increase of 45.6 percent over 1998). For the period 2000 to 2009, income moved from EC$418 million in 2000 to EC$705.4 million in 2009, thus recording increases in earnings ranging from 0.6% in 2002 to 12.7% in 2004.
During this period earnings were impacted by the following salary and wage increases:
10% increase to Civil Servants and a 3% to 15% increase to other workers
10% increase to Civil Servants
Minimum wage increase to Auxiliary Workers – EC$250.00 per week effective June
Minimum wage increase to workers in Tourism, Manufacturing and Wholesale and Retail
5% rise in wages and salaries to public sector workers effective January
Minimum wage for private sector workers was increased to EC$320 per week effective in August
Bonus salary to Public Servants in December
In 2010, there was a decline of 1% in earnings when compared with 2009 when the figure fell to EC$698.2 million. However in 2011, the decline in earnings was reversed when there was a marginal growth in earnings of 0.3% (EC$700.3 million) followed by a 1.5% increase in 2012 reaching a record level of EC$710.7million. In 2013, earnings was EC$710.5 million thus reflecting a minute decline of 0.003% in comparison to 2012.