Wage Revision of National Workforce
The national workforce wage rate is being revised by 30 to 35 Per cent with the start of September. It was last revised in July 2011 since previous revision in January 2001.
The classification has been done into five categories the first one being workers like carpenter, auto mechanic and lharib who will now be paid Nu. 324 a day.
Workers like supervisors, blacksmiths and plant operators who fall into the second category will get Nu . 286 a day. The third category which comprises of workers like Auto electricians, plumbers and linemen will be paid Nu 254 a day. Workers like sweepers, wiremen and sawyers who are in fourth category will get Nu 234 a day.
Other unskilled NWF ( National Work Force) workers will get Nu 215 a day. The workers who are hired by government for projects are better known as unskilled workers who will now be paid Nu 215 a day, says the labour ministry.
The wage rate was revised considering the inflation and the salary revision of civil servants last year, say the labour officials. The revision is hoped to not only benefit the NWF workers but also to encourage them to be a skilled workers. The revision of wage was considered also due to shortage of skilled workers in Dzong construction and Dzong renovation projects. The national wage rate is only applicable to those Bhutanese employed by government agencies for works executed by the agencies concerned.
When asked how wages in the private sectors are regulated, the ministry said that wages in private sectors are rather determined by the demand and supply forces. However, it is considered illegal to pay any worker below National Minimum Wage which is Nu.125 per day.
The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement and Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs are very much responsible for deployment of national work force in the construction, maintenance of roads and renovation of Dzongs. About 3,000 workers are employed by Department of Roads under the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements as national work force.
The director for Department of Roads, Karma Gayleg said that the retention of skilled labours have been key challenge faced by his department with the workers having to have work under harsh conditions. “Nu 165 per day was not very realistic due to which many workers left for better opportunities. Labours were reluctant to work for Nu 165 per day. The revision of wage rate is however expected to help the department in retaining workers’, he added.
The revision of wage rate is expected to not only encourage the workforce to be skilled workers, but also to improve the lives of the workers and their families.