Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Wage rates up in New Zealand

In some sectors of the community, the recent rises in food and fuel prices have not been felt so keenly.

Figures from Statistics New Zealand today show that salary and wage rates rose by 0.7 percent in the March quarter, and by 3.4 percent in the year to date. The latter rise is the largest annual increase since 1992.

Of course, for a semi-retired person like myself, on a casual contract at my company, there is never any pay rise. To increase my weekly income, I have to put money into long-term investments and wait for the interest.

While on the subject of pay rates, I would like to quote from a letter in today's Manawatu Standard. It is from a Dr Bevan Jenkins, a surgical registrar at Palmerston North Hospital, who explains why junior doctors are striking:

"I earn $24 an hour and receive no overtime [pay] for after-hours work. If I quit and joined the burgeoning group of locum doctors, I would get a minimum of $75 an hour. The difference is too great; it is as simple as that."

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