WageIndicator Gazette 22 - September 2009


Improving the web-survey methodology for social and cultural research ** Project: Decisions for Life aimed at young female workers well under way ** Decent Work Check available in 10 countries, more to come ** Independent media partner in Belarus for Mojazarplata.by ** Partner Check for young working women ** MSN and Tusalario reinforce each other ** WageIndicator launches in Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Indonesia



Improving the web-survey methodology for social and cultural research

Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, jointly with University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and University of Salamanca, Spain, currently undertake an investigation of the strengths and weaknesses of web surveys. Of particular interest is the question of the quality and reliability of web surveys for scientific use - more concretely, to which degree can the obtained results be generalised for the whole population? As respondents are not selected at random and the target population rather forms a convenience than a probability sample, particularly volunteer web surveys are subject to selection bias. Therefore a comparison took place of the German, Dutch and Spanish sample of the WageIndicator Survey 2006 with similar data, that were based on random sampled surveys. First results indicate that the persons working very long or very short hours are underrepresented, and so are persons under 20 and over 60 years of age. Furthermore, job satisfaction differs, as the working population in general is slightly more satisfied with their job than the WageIndicator respondents. Papers will be published soon at the WageIndicator publication website. Publications.

Project: Decisions for Life aimed at young female workers well under way

Initiated by international Confederation of Trade Unions/ITUC, University of Amsterdam/AIAS and WageIndicator, ‘Decisions for Life’ is a Dutch sponsored project, which seeks to inform young female workers through dedicated national websites on the decisions they face: career, marriage, children, work-life balance? It primarily targets adolescent female workers and job seekers in 8 occupational groups. The project also funds 14 national trade union campaigns (in southern Africa, central Asia, India, Indonesia and Brazil) over the next two years to organize debates, seminars and other special events, reaching out to this most vulnerable group in the working population. On May 15 ‘Decisions for life’ won the approval of the All African UNI trade unions’ conference in Tunis. Trade union delegates found that the project’s aims are fully in line with their program to increase the number of women union members, promote their participation in trade union activities and in decision-making. More at: http://dfl.wageindicator.org

Decent Work Check available in 10 countries, more to come

The WageIndicator has developed an application that allows you to check how decent your job is. The Decent Work Check compares your job situation with the regulations of your country and the international standard. Not only salary is here at stake, but also working hours, job security, sexual harassment, overtime compensation and many other criteria. Whenever your company does not comply with the accepted standards, you are now given reasons to act upon. Presently the Decent Work Check is available in Angola, Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, South Africa, The Netherlands, Zambia and Zibabwe. Other DecentWorkChecks will follow soon. See Decentworkcheck.org.

Independent media partner in Belarus

The Belarus WageIndicator Mojazarplata.by in August started cooperation with media partner Navin.by. The start was accompanied by an article reporting that Mojazarplata.by had been collecting 1,200 surveys in the first few weeks after its launch. “Given that the project was launched in June and the Internet use by the majority of Belarusians is not high, it is very good” said Taisa Bondarenko, WageIndicator manager for Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. She is enthusiastic about her new media partner. "Naviny.by is a project of BELAPAN news agency, the only independent news agency in Belarus, and they are in the top 10 of Belarusian sites, with 15-20,000 visitors daily."

Partner Check for young working women

In the framework of the ‘Decisions for Life’ project a new tool has been developed by the design team in Buenos Aires. This Partner Check is already available in Dutch, English, Indonesian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The tool mirrors your dreams. Who would you like to be or become? What’s your road to happiness? You play that your dreams come true. It brings back memories of child’s play – and indeed when you play, you dress and undress puppets to shape them into your dream team: you and your ideal partner. But behind romance lurks the real world. So be aware. This tool helps you to make the best economical choice for your future.

How crisis proof are you?

Are your finances crisis proof? Presently you can easily check it out on several WageIndicator websites in half a dozen languages. A dozen steps take you through financial aspects of daily life everyone is confronted with, from impulsive buying behaviour to punctual monthly payments, yes or no. Your end score is symbolized by the proverbial bird with is head in the sand, yes or no. Or some other symbolic animal. The tool has been developed by the international WageIndicator team in close consultation with the team operating from Buenos Aires. The Crisis Test was also designed there, just as the successful Partner Check MSN and Tusalario reinforce each other

Three Spanish-language sites of the WageIndicator have entered into a deal with leading internet portal MSN. MSN will host links to the WageIndicator sites in Columbia, Chile and Argentina. For the WageIndicator sites the deal means access to a formidable group of internet users, that are mostly hard to get to through other scientific methods. For MSN it means an attractive tool that allows people to check their salary, making the portal more 'sticky'. 'For us, MSN is a very good party to work with,' says director Paulien Osse of the WageIndicator Foundation. "They give us access to people that are otherwise very hard to get by." On all three portals, MSN offers 'salary' buttons, giving direct access to the website of the national WageIndicator teams in Argentina, Chile and Columbia. The links are only in place for a few days, so the first figures are only preliminary, but the number of visitors in Columbia and Chile went up with hundreds, in Argentina even with a few thousand per day. Check out WageIndicator's Media partners.

WageIndicator launches in Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Indonesia


The launch of Indonesia's WageIndicator Gajimu.com at July 1 in Jakarta has become an unprecedented success, triggering off thousands of visits to the new site. "We expected four or five journalists," reports Michel Maas, the sites organizer, from Jakarta. "But suddenly we had a room with thirty journalists, including internet, print and TV-stations." The presence of a few local celebrities might have helped. Discussing your salary is still a taboo, writes more than one Indonesian weblog in a reaction to the press conference, perhaps explaining the spike in interest for the WageIndicator in Indonesia.


Tusalario.org/Guatemala has officially been launched in Guatemala, extending the already very successful operation of the WageIndicator in Latin America. The launch took place on August 27 at the offices of the Confederación Central General de Trabajadores de Guatemala. The walls of the room, where the press conference was organized, were covered with portraits of trade union activists who have lost their lives, working for the union. "Fortunately, the eyes of the WageIndicator logo could liven up the place a bit," said a report from Guatamala City. Presently interviewers are collecting data from 1,500 respondents using a paper version of the online salary survey. The hope to repeat the success of this method applied earlier this year in Paraguay. In the aftermath of the launch a team from neighbouring El Salvador dropped by to discuss what needs to be done to start a WageIndicator operation there later this year. They expressed their eagerness to cover Nicaragua and Honduras too.

Ukraine, Kazakhstan

The WageIndicator in the Ukraine, Mojazarplata.ua and Kazakhstan, Mojazarplata.kz also were launched on August 27. In response both sites saw a neat spike in the traffic, as domestic media and bloggers were eager to pick up the launch story. The sites jumped repeatedly over one hundred visitors per day, although the Ukraine was clearly the best performer. Challenge for both sites is to keep up the attention and attract more visitors, willing to fill in the salary survey. The sites pay particular attention to women's career, equal rights, and combining work and personal life. "In addition, users can pass a test to see how well they cope with the crisis” says Oksana Zavoiko, project manager in the Ukraine. It will soon be running a test ' Negotiations with the employer, "through which you can check how much you know your rights and whether you are able to defend them in the negotiations."

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