Taiwan to raise pay for lowest-paid public sector workers, part-time teachers

Taiwan cabinet touts solutions to boost stagnant wages

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan's Cabinet touted near-term and long-term solutions on Monday to address the issue of slow wage growth, including increasing minimum wages of the lowest-paid public sector employees and contractors to NT$30,000 (US$1,008) per month "progressively," with an estimated 47,000 people expected to benefit from the boost to the public sector's low wages.

At the same time, the Cabinet is said to be proposing a raise of the minimum hourly wage to NT$150 from NT$140.

Another demographic that will benefit from the wage-boost plan is part-time or substitute teachers at elementary schools, as well as college part-time teachers.

Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉) announced at Monday's press conference that elementary school part-time teachers, who are currently entitled to a minimum hourly rate of NT$260, will see that minimum wage increase to NT$400, following the Cabinet's agreement.

The new hourly rate will only take effect from January 1, 2019 at the earliest. Around 15,000 people are estimated to benefit from the wage increase.

Shih added that colleges will be required to cover labor and health insurance fees and retirement pensions for their teaching assistants, as part of the Cabinet's wage-boost plan.

As for public sector employees who are taking labor-intensive work and in the lowest-wage bracket, the Cabinet is mulling plans to raise their monthly wage to NT$30,000 progressively over time.

Shih said that the Cabinet will also provide several incentives for employers in the private sector to increase wages for employees.

One proposed example is having an "employee pay level" designation included on company applications when they bid on government procurement contracts or apply for subsidies/awards. Higher employee pay rates will add points to applications increasingly a company's favorablility when the government evaluates and compares qualifications of different firms.