Salary checker makes Gajimu into a hit - June 2010

Gajimu, the WageIndicator project in Indonesia, recently launched its salary checker. Organizers tell how they got the project running, attract their audience and got enough data on wages and income, to get the salary checker running
Gajimu.com launch
Launch of Gajimu by Fantake via Flickr

Gajimu, the WageIndicator project in Indonesia, launched recently a salary checker, where visitors can check their salaries. How is that working out? We asked Michel Maas, one of Gajimu's organizers in Jakarta, setting up a successful online operation in Indonesia, where 1 in 10 citizens has access to the internet, while only one percent of those internet users has broadband. We also asked Ira Rachmawati of the so called Decisions For Life project for young female workers in Indonesia, how their offline meetings makes use of and helps Gajimu. 

How important is the salary checker for Gajimu? Who is using your information?
Michel Maas: Everything is gaining momentum, since we have recently been able to add the salary checker to our website. Only now the website is complete, and a lot more interesting for the visitors, who previously only received some basic labor information, and had to be guided through a rather tough, big survey. That asked for much enthusiasm, in a country with such rickety Internet connections as Indonesia. Gajimu site visitors are mainly white collar workers, because they are more likely to have internet access. Not those white collar workers from the government, but from commercial services like insurance companies, manufacturers, traders, but also for example from the national airline Garuda. From those visitors we get most questions and they also come to our offline workshops and other activities. We also have a group of active users who come through our group at Facebook.
The questions that come in are mainly of a practical nature. People ask about the minimum wage ("what is the minimum for me"), outsourcing ("the laws are there, outsourcing is illegal?"), on their salary ("I've worked five years with the same boss and earn always less than the average ").About all these things we have information on the website, but it is now organized in a better way, the information is clearer and more accessible. We hope that helps to get more visitors.
 
How do you get the word out, how do people find your website? Michel Maas: We have advertised on the Internet and on radio. For example expensive paid advertisements on Detik.com, the busiest news site in Indonesia, but that had very little effect. Our messages drowned in the flood of other advertisements, messages, frames, and other moving images. Cooperation with the radio station I-Radio appears much more effective. I-Radio is the largest radio station in Jakarta, and also available in Surabaya and Bandung. We have regular spots on prime time and once a month we host a one hour talk show where we put the spotlight on Gajimu. We also have a new appointment for cooperation with the website of the newspaper Kompas, one of the larger newspapers in Indonesia. This is one of the major competitors of Detik.com. The agreement with Kompas is a true alliance. Gajimu is linked from their site, and in return Kompas can use our data from the survey. 
This is still very, very new, and 'under construction', so we still have to see the effects.Previously we worked together on a modest scale: Kompas has put our partner checkon its website with a link to WageIndicator / Gajimu. Now this cooperation becomes more mature. 

Before your salary checker was there, how did people get their salary information? And are any other media, trade unions providing similar information? 
Michel Maas: In the past people got information on the salaries from family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, and they still get their information from them up to a large degree. Other labor information was not available for them.
There is no competition yet for Gajimu. Both Detik.com and Kompas.com are trying to increase their socio-economic information on their websites, but they lack the salary check and the knowledge we can provide. So Kompas will be happy with us. Detik has also shown interest, but so far they do not offer any cooperation for free. There are job boards and sites for women, and specialized financial sites. Some have very specific data on wages, but there is not really a website that provides comprehensive and reliable salary information like Gajimu does.

Much of the traffic to Gajimu, between 70 and 80 percent up to now is triggered off by offline meetings "Decisions for Life"  - an labor awareness program for young female workers is organizing. Most popular at the Gajimu site is the information on labor laws, even more popular than the salary information. How do you explain that?
Ira Rachmawati: In every meeting with our target group, we try to educate the participants about labor laws since most of them know only very little or nothing at all about the labor law. Our target group is pretty well educated, so when we give them highlights about labor law, they want to know more and more. No wonder, the first thing they check in the website is the labor law, not only during the meeting, but also later when they are back in their offices.
Next in the meeting the participants check their salaries, now the second biggest hit at Gajimu, and a subject that fits very well in the 'Decision for Life' meetings. After checking their salaries, we will sit together again with the participants to discuss their salary. Whether it's fair or if they need a raise. Then we debate on 'how to negotiate with employer for a salary raise'. Trade unions also organize training sessions for negotiation skills like this.
 
In other larger Asian countries like China and India we see that wages, and minimum wages are going up, sometimes up to 30 percent over the past few months. Is that the same in Indonesia? What is causing those raises? The government, the market, employers, trade unions?
Ira Rachmawati: Yes, in Indonesia too. The Provincial Minimum Wages are going up depending on the situation in each province i.e. the living cost. The raises are made by the government in their regulations, and triggered off by simultaneous activity of the market, the trade unions, and employers. In the market prices of daily necessities keep on going up, and trade unions are trying to negotiate with the employers for better Collective Bargaining Agreements.   

The salary checker at Gajimu already covera wide range of industries, including IT, law, oil, education, HR, finance and media. An overview of other countries with salary checkers you can find them all here. They include India, China (Beijing only), South Africa, the UK and the US. 

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