Labour Minister Petitions Gov’t to Raise the National Minimum Wage

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Shane Gibson, MP
Shane Gibson, MP

NASSAU, The Bahamas — The Ministry of Labour & National Insurance has petitioned an increase in the National Minimum Wage for Government approval and advised the public that the National Tripartite Council has been formally appointed with effect from June 1, 2015.  Robert Farquharson, Chairman/Director of Labour, announced the Members of the Council at a press conference held at the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce on Collins Avenue and Shirley Street in the conference room, June 3.

“On April 19, 2015 the Hon. D. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labour & National Insurance formally brought into law the National Tripartite Council Bill 2014.  This landmark piece of legislation that was signed by the Governor General of The Bahamas on March 2, 2015 officially enshrined into Bahamian statute, the principles of the International Labour Organization Convention 144: Tripartite Consultation Regarding International Labour Standards,” said Mr. Farquharson.

“During the first meeting of the Council held on June 1, 2015, a resolution was adopted for a recommendation for an increase in the National Minimum Wage.  That recommendation was submitted to the Minister of Labour & National Insurance for approval of the Government.”

Mr. Farquharson said the functions and powers of the Council include, but are not limited to the practise and promotion of tripartism in The Bahamas, using cooperation, consultation, negotiation and compromise of the social partners in order to create and shape social and economic policies and programs.

He added that the Council would advise the Government on the formulation of national policies and strategies on all aspects of labour, productivity, quality and competition.

“We will review, advise, and consult the Government on items on the agenda of the International Labour Conference and the Government’s position on and response to proposed texts and questionnaires for discussion by the Conference.  We will also review and discuss proposed Conventions and Recommendations of the ILO and make submissions to the Government, review current labour legislation and make recommendations for amendments or codification of the same.  We will also review and comment on draft Bills and proposed regulations pertaining to labour and industrial relations,” said Mr. Farquharson.

“The Council will liaise with national, regional and international organisations on labour and industrial relations matters, and encourage and maintain regular communication among social partners and the community at large on all matters affecting labour and industrial relations.  The Council will design and conduct public educational programmes on labour and industrial relations matters.”

Mr. Farquharson said the National Tripartite Council, over the next few weeks, is expected to ratify a Strategic Plan in line with statutory objectives.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders to improve the quality of life and standard of living for all citizens,” said Mr. Farquharson.

The Members of the Council are: Robert Farquharson, Chairman/Director of Labour; Althea Albury, Sr. Deputy Director of Labour; Maxine Duncombe, Sr. Family Island Administrator; Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson, General Secretary/NCTUB; Theresa Mortimer, 1st Vice President/NCTUB; Dr. Thomas Bastian, Consultant/CBTUC; Edison Sumner, CEO/BCCEC; Peter Goudie, Director/BCCEC, and Rionda Godet, Member/BCCEC.

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