Minimum wage increase negotiations have begun here in Costa Rica. And now, after furious union representatives gawked in anger at the 5,000.00 colon raise that President Laura Chinchilla Miranda proposed during negotiations in the first half of the year, Public and Private sector union officials finally submitted their salary increase proposal.
The union group gave two proposals, one of 4.95% and another 5.95%. Representatives stated that, “the number should not be less than five percent.” The original number of 3.17% did not take into consideration the elevation of prices during the first half of the year.
Prices of services and goods have gone consistently up. Food, water, electricity, telephone service, all has gone up. Even bus fares have increased in price.
Union representatives have said that the country is sorely divided between the rich and the poor. The best way to alleviate this problem is to install a more livable wage. With a minimum wage increase of 5.95 percent, workers will earn just under six colones extra per hundred of their salary.
The increase is to be decided by the Consejo Nacional de Salarios. The National Wage Council will review each of the proposals and final revisions should be adjourned by this Thursday accompanied with a decision.
A small nuisance for business will be the fact that the wage increase was supposed to go into effect by January 1st. This means that each business will have to go through their last three weeks of payroll and retro-pay each employee. Something like this for smaller businesses can be a troublesome unforeseen expenditure.
Members of the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados ( Nacional Association of Public and Private Employees) stated that, “we are confident that the government will accept the submitted proposal.”