15 % Wage Hike For Bahraini Government Workers


“It’s not enough,” said Jamal Ateeq, a member of a General Federation of Bahrain Trade Union panel for public sector workers. “The increase should be around 30 per cent. Our demand is based on the current costs of living following studies by researchers,” Ateeq said.


The 15 per cent hike would benefit some 34,000 workers in the public sector. The unions had demanded an increase in the salaries of the lowest paid workers in the government based on a cost of living index.


The federation cited earlier studies that showed that the average Bahraini family of four should have an income of at least BD350 a month to stay above the poverty line.
Ateeq said they were happy but had hoped the MPs would go a step further. “If that (the parliament approval) is the government position, then it would not solve the problem. The government workers will be asking for more because the salary hike is not much and they may not even feel it,” Ateeq said.


The federation claimed they had collected 10,000 signatures from workers on a petition for salary hike. It presented the workers’ position to the government, seeking dialogue.


The unions had demanded a 20-30 per cent wage hike for public sector workers in grades 1 to 10 levels.


An initial draft law by MPs pegged the hike at 30 per cent for those in grades 1 to 6 and 20 per cent for those in grades 7 to 10.


MP Dr Jassim Hussein Ali said the government was in a position to increase wages in view of a budget surplus of about BD257 million in 2005.


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