Members will be aware the Tánaiste had asked the low Pay Commission to provide a road map for merging the NMW and LW processes within a four or five year.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, chaired by Sinn Fein TD, Maurice Quinlivan invited officials from the Mandate Trade Union to attend a hearing of the Committee at which the annual recommendation of the LPC was discussed.
There were no representatives from any of the employers’ bodies in attendance, so the discussion was, to put it mildly, rather one sided. It emerged from the session that they Tánaiste had requested the LPC to revisit the area of sub minimum rates, that is the 70%,80% and 90% rates that are set as a percentage of the adult rate. From what transpired during the course of the discussion, it would be fair to state that the Chairman of the Low Pay Commission expressed an opinion that suggested that he would be in favor of abolishing such rates.
Although the rationale of Mandate for querying the composition of the Median wage rate that will be used by the LPC to determine an hourly wage rate is very different to those expressed by CSNA in our submission to the Department, it is interesting to note that there is a growing level of unease at many aspects of the living Wage proposal.
We have asked both the Tánaiste and members of the Committee to further engage in discussions on this most important of matters.