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6 mths later: Still no minimum wage increase!

- Labour Minister to announce details on Minimum Wage implementation at 'appropriate time'– PS
The Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering (R7), left, will make an announcement at an appropriate time following amendments to the Minimum Wage legislation, according to Director of Communications Mrs Arliene T. Penn. Photo: VINO/File
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley has refused to make any comments on the minimum wage increase delay. Photo: VINO/File
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley has refused to make any comments on the minimum wage increase delay. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Despite saying that it has a genuine desire to improve the standard of living for all, the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government is still to pass legislation for the minimum wage increase as recommended by the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee since 2015.

This means that 6 months after the document recommending the increase was brought to the House of Assembly, the minimum wage to be paid by law in the British Overseas Territory of the Virgin Islands (VI) remains at $4.00 an hour and not $6.00.

Virgin Islands News Online has been trying to find out what is Government’s position on the increase being put into effect and was told that Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering will make an announcement soon.

This is according to Director of Communications Arliene T. Penn who released this information on behalf of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley.

This news site had approached Mr Smith-Berkeley for a comment but several calls and texts to his phone went unanswered. However, when this new site’s reporter showed up at his office last week he advised through his secretary that we should make our inquiry through the Director of Communications Mrs Penn.

"The Government of the Virgin Islands continues to move forward in different ways, through its many initiatives, to improve the standard of living for all and at the same time build a better Virgin Islands. One such initiative is the increase of the minimum wage. Indeed, the implementation of the new minimum wage is in the process,” said the brief email from Mrs Penn.

Announcement to come at 'appropriate time'

It then went on to say that the public should expect an announcement on the issue from Dr Pickering.

“The Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering will make an announcement at an appropriate time following amendments to the legislation,” said the message.

The message from the PS in the Natural Resources and Labour Ministry said too that the information will be important for employers who are preparing to implement the new wages put forward by the Committee.

“Additionally, I am encouraging the public to listen out for the education awareness campaign regarding the introduction of the new minimum wage which is very important in this process as it is essential in preparing proprietors of businesses to make budgetary adjustments, as may be necessary."

There was some degree of misinformation and confusion when Dr Pickering (R7) presented in the House of Assembly (HoA) a recommendation from the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee.

Dr Pickering presented the recommendations for a minimum wage increase from the current $4.00 to $6.00 on November 2, 2015 to the people of the Virgin Islands, laying the document from his appointed Minimum Wage Advisory Committee on the table of Parliament at the Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly.

However, what is important to note before the increase can take effect is that the same Minister must return to the House of Assembly with regulations to give effect to a minimum wage increase, assuming that the National Democratic Party (NDP) government has accepted the recommendation for an increase.

To date no regulations have been enacted to increase the minimum wage, therefore the $4.00 per hour is still in effect. 

36 Responses to “6 mths later: Still no minimum wage increase!”

  • public (18/05/2016, 08:48) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
    They do not care about the poor
    • Myo (18/05/2016, 13:55) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      All he studying is airport and he knows the country can not afford an airport now. Like he want to really bankrupt this country. Premier, wake up man!!
  • Done Deal! (18/05/2016, 08:50) Like (32) Dislike (0) Reply
    We already know who you're working for, and it's not for us who put you there...PEOPLE HURTING, NO MORE EXCUSES!!!NDP MUST GO!!!PERIOD!!!
    • Outlaw (19/05/2016, 05:58) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
      Well the man did not his to say who he favors, he said in the campaign that he is proud of his rich what friends but we still turn around and re-elect him overwhelmingly so what do we expect. Take look around his district, it's the worst in the territory, look at how agriculture and fisheries deteriorate. The man really cannot be bothered.
      • 7th (19/05/2016, 09:57) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        East End/Long Look people will continue to suffer. But I'll sit in my corner...
  • wize up (18/05/2016, 08:52) Like (40) Dislike (0) Reply
    the increase in minimum will come just before the 2019 election; you know; the usual elction gimmick!!!!!
    • bvi (18/05/2016, 23:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Given the obvious incompetence, I suggest we abolish goverment and asked the British to run the place
  • Try (18/05/2016, 08:58) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    The legislators should try living for a month on the present and proposed minimum wage. Some people in VG (thanks to the renovation works) ain't even getting that much.
  • BOTTOM LINE (18/05/2016, 09:02) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
  • waste ah time (18/05/2016, 10:20) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    This guy does nothing but flying around the globe increasing his frequent flier miles...He did nothing for long look since ralph's assistance...All he built was a muddy beach in fat hog's bay (through the rocks) which is already infested with congoes and sea cats...He killed the ministry of labour along with farming...He only sucks up to his rich white friends on the outer islands and hangs with a selected few who he made wealthy...He recently purchased several properties and he moved from long look to get away from those that he deemed disgusting.
  • Komodant (18/05/2016, 10:22) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm really fed up with this representative and this gang in how they are dealing with the people (local and foreign) in this country.
  • Political Observer (18/05/2016, 10:31) Like (38) Dislike (2) Reply
    Dr. Hon K. Pickering, Deputy Premier and MNL is speaking with fork tongue, demonstrating the unique ability to speak out of both sides of mouth at once. Government wants to improve citizens quality of life and standard of living yet 6 months after the Minimum Wage Committee, led by Simon Potter, reported out recommending that the lowly $4 per hour minimum wage be raised to $6 per hour nothing has happened. The whole HOA is at fault. Have you heard anyone of them beating the drum to institute the recommendations? It is something that benefits the lil man so they move slower than molasses. If it were action to raise their salary $6K, it would have moved faster than lighting or Usain Bolt to get the legislation crafted and to the HOA. Their bread is buttered on both sides and along the edges so they do not care.

    The word on the street is that legislation is eminent to award the airport extension contract to a Chinese company but is showing no interest to giving those at lowest end of economic ladder a measly $2 per hour increase.
    • micky mouse (18/05/2016, 15:08) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      How can we expect them to do anything about the minimum wage.When we already paying their big salary, from the $4.00 an hour we getting.Most of them have business,as long as we pay rent for them to live in their own houses,and travel expenses what do they care?Full belly telling hunger belly keep heart,that's all they doing.
    • bbb (18/05/2016, 16:57) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      I heard somewhere two headed snakes have fork tongues. Keep your grass cut very low so you can see the NDP two headed snakes comming. HISSSSS.
  • enough (18/05/2016, 10:34) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    no one cares about the poor
  • Virgin Islands (18/05/2016, 10:55) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Am so sick of the NDP them now with them lies an pure lies ayo don't think of the black peoples them oh.....I forget ayo like to see the white faces them .....NDP MUST GO we or suffering in the bvi
  • Madness (18/05/2016, 11:19) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    He is busy trying to give our country to the Chinese by way of the Airport project. A $200 mil project where they can bring all their people from China, build boot camps, import their own rock, concrete, equipment, labour and also not pay any tax or social security. Are we really that stupid in this Territory to allow this?
  • SMH (18/05/2016, 11:50) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    4 bucks an hour is like being am indentured servant, those are not livable wages in these times
  • Me (18/05/2016, 11:55) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    is you all put them in now you all baulin take dat more to come
  • fine (18/05/2016, 12:09) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Since there's no legislation for the increase there's still time to make it what it should be. $6.00 is a bad joke. It should be at least $8.00 and really $10.00. Anybody care to press it??
    • Insult (18/05/2016, 14:31) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      A pet cannot live on $4.00 per hour. That is so low. The minimum wage should be between $10.00 to $12.00 per hour. The thing that bothers me the most is people here busting their A€€ doing all the work and the owners of the business is sitting back lining their pockets, getting fat, don't know a damn thing. The little man the owner is pimping out for F%#~*ng $4.00 per hour knows more about the business. Shame on you dreadful business owners/pimps.
      • Garbage (18/05/2016, 15:50) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply

        Minimum wage being increased to $10- $12 will just mean that a loaf of bread will be $12 and a bag of sugar $10. It's funny to read stuff written by folks with little or no knowledge of how an economy or business really work. You're going to pay someone $12 a month base salary to be a cashier or pump gas here in the BVI? Give me a f***** break.

        • Conch (18/05/2016, 18:50) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
          No, you give me a F""""""" break. 10-12 dollars per hour is better than 4.You sound like a cheap business owner who does not want to pay your employees.
        • Really (18/05/2016, 22:49) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
          @ Garbage, if you are a business owner, I feel sorry for your employees.
  • Well? (18/05/2016, 13:09) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    This should not be a problem to implement at all, with our robust economy why the delay?
  • hello (18/05/2016, 16:33) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    The study shows more tan 85% of persons are making more than $4.00 an hour. however there are still those who are making the $4.00 and this legislation must Be put in place. This DP does not care for his own..
  • ungratefuls (18/05/2016, 19:51) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    Alot ah dem wasn't even making $1 USD back whey dey come from.
  • Sickening (18/05/2016, 21:41) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    They have $ 100,000 to give consultancy though.
  • Poor people. (18/05/2016, 22:38) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everything we want we will get 6 months before the next election. Hold the trump cards back.
  • Well!! (18/05/2016, 23:00) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ungratefuls, you sound like a shark trying to talk. Stop looking down on people. Whoever they are, they have to eat, pay bills and provide for their family just like you do. So because as you said they were not making $1 USD they are less of a person and be tossed crumbs or used for cheap labour?
  • uj (19/05/2016, 08:40) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Im sick of this NDP gang now, I bet if it was one of his white friends he would of already make some progress, well the appropriate time to go is coming soon because me and my family aint voting for you guys again, last election 9 of us voted for u guys next election 17 of us could vote and not one will go to the wicked NDP because this is over bearing now that's why crime must increase
  • Observing (20/05/2016, 16:51) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    We will end up just like Puerto Rico
  • 911 (22/05/2016, 11:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a retrograde step by the government.

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