A 3 percent wage increase approved for private sector workers

The Consejo Nacional de Salarios has fixed the pay increase for private employees at 3 percent for the second half of the year. No one seems very happy about the amount.

Some union activists scorned the amount, which means 3,000 more colons or about $6 for every 100,000 of salary (about $200)

Representatives of the private sector said that the government agency and unions bypassed a salary formula that was approved in October. The private sector group, the Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado, said that the minimum wages have increased 31 percent in the last 12 years.

The Consejo passed the increased without votes from members representing private business, said the chamber.
The increase takes effect July 1, and most employes will see the raise with the pay of July 15 or of July 31.

Many Costa Ricans work for the minimum wage, which is different for every job category. The Ministerio de Trabajo will do the math and post the new salaries by occupation on its Web site soon.

In addition to the obligatory pay increase, employers will be paying slightly more for social security charges for the Caja Costarricesne de Seguro Social.

Those payments are based on salary received, and the employees pay about 9 percent of their income for these purposes. Employers pay much more, and the amount depends on the size of the company.

The business chamber has argued that obligatory wage increases remove the incentive of performance-based raises

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