WageIndicator Gazette 23 - December 2009

Media alliances in Poland, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Southern Africa ** Decent Work Checks in 14 countries, Salary Checks in 25 ** Gender pay gap wide as ever ** How representative are Wage Indicator data? ** Decisions for Life-project extends over all of Southern Africa ** Cooperation with trade union movement intensifies ** Wage Indicator team sponsors Lucky Stars in Gugulethu


Media alliances in Poland, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Southern Africa

Rzeczpospolita, the second largest newspaper in Poland, has signed in the third week of September as a media partner for Twojezarobki.pl of the Wage Indicator. This major partner improves the Wage Indicator's position in Poland very much.  

The Wage Indicator site in Kazakhstan, Mojazarplata.kz, teams up with two media players in the country, Gazeta.kz en Zarplata.kz. The launch of the two WageIndicator sites in Azerbaijan, Qazancim in Azeri and Mojazarplata in Russian, October 2 in Baku, results in a partnership with news wesite Zerkalo.com. In Southern Africa media alliances are set with the South African media Ananzi and Careerjunction, Yellow Pages in Botswana and Zambia, The Insider in Zimbabwe and The Times in Malawi.

Decent Work Checks in 14 countries, Salary Checks in 25

The Ukraine has joined at the end of November the growing number of Wage Indicator partners with a DecentWorkCheck on their national Wage Indicator website, that helps visitors to make important decisions in their lives. By doing so, the Ukraine is following in the footsteps of a whole range of other countries, like Brazil, India, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Argentina and the Netherlands, who got their Decent Work Check online a few months earlier. Belarus followed suit early October, a special occasion, said WageIndicator director Paulien Osse at the time. "The country needs still quite some improvements, including the right to free trade unions, so this site can add more value than elsewhere." The DecentWorkCheck allows you to compare your salary and working conditions with the legal provisions in your country and with the international standards, laid down in ILO-Conventions. Next to 14 DecentWorkChecks there are now 25 Salary Checks. 

Gender pay gap wide as ever

Recent research by Incomes Data Services for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) shows the gender pay gap still shows no sign of narrowing. Women also have fewer promotion opportunities in the workplace compared to their male colleagues. Moreover, women are found to be more vulnerable than men to recession-based job losses, especially in less developed countries. Incomes Data Services (IDS), the UK partner of the Wage Indicator Foundation, focused on 12 countries and gathered more than 97,000 responses from the online WageIndicator country surveys over the period 2007-2009. It concludes that the gender pay gap is still large at 28% in favour of men for full-time workers and 17% for part-time workers. The research also conducted a time-series analysis for seven Wage Indicator countries. It shows that, between 2006 and 2009, the gender pay gap in each country has not closed over the period. 

The Decent Work Agenda, a Gender Perspective. A download in PDF.

How representative are Wage Indicator data?

The academic partners of the WageIndicator Foundation continue to address one of the key problems in looking at online surveys: how can we get them closer to the offline reality? 

In October we reported on a study by Stephanie Steinmetz and Kea Tijdens of the University of Amsterdam. Their conclusion: while the current standard of online surveys is the best we can get, improvements are needed. Steinmetz suggested to always have an offline reference survey at hand. A second academic study was recently done by Wage Indicator partner Harvard Law School, written by Richard B. Freeman, Damian Raeses and Isabelle Ferreras. They call their study a "Preliminary Skirmish", equally suggesting that the academic debate is only starting. Their conclusion: "...the tests on US data show significant bias in the non-representative Paywizard data, while techniques such as weighting and median quantile regression analysis (or any estimation that gives less weight to the extreme values) appear promising venues for reducing the selection bias. We hope that this and more elaborated tests yet to be defined will form the basis of a methods template that will be systematically applied by every national Wage Indicator team on their data in order to generate a strong data set on wage and employment issues across the globe."

Decisions for Life-project extends over all of Southern Africa

On September 17 in eight Southern African countries the Decision for Life-project entered cyberspace through Wage Indicator websites. In this region the project targets to reach half a million visitors in one year time. Local teams make sure that the content of the sites is fit for the audiences in each country. Known as Mywage in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, and Meusalario in Angola and Mocambique, the websites feature unique content about wages, working conditions, and labour standards. There is a strong gender emphasis in much of the content. Significantly, each site also hosts checks relating to work/partner balanceminimum wages , DecentWork and the current economic crisis. “There is a definite need for this sort of information in my country. We look at what people want to know, in relation to the workplace, and we supply it,” says Sanday Chongo Kabange, web manager of Mywage Zambia. “We go out and speak to people, and we follow what is happening in the labour market.”  ‘What Working Women Want’ was the slogan that accompanied the ensuing launch of this project in India, on October 7th. The Decisions for Life-project targets young women working in 8 occupations in 14 countries.

Cooperation with trade union movement intensifies

A team of journalists from Wage Indicator sites all over the world helped to cover the ITUC First World Women Conference in Brussels during 2 days in October. They produced news at the premises of the conference and published websites in four languages: English, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. The 17-strong team illustrated the global character of the Wage Indicator operation as the web journalists came from India, the former Soviet countries, Latin America, Europe and Southern Africa. And of course they demonstrated on the spot what the internet can do for you and your organization. Also other business was done at this unique ITUC-meet. Paulien Osse, director of the Wage Indicator, met Tatyana Frolova of the FNPR, Russia's largest trade union with 25 million members, second in the world after the Chinese trade union. Mrs. Frolova, a mathematician, is now the number two in the union, as deputy chairperson. The FNPR was already part of the WageIndicator family, but lack of internet skills made it hard for the organization to get its online operation organized. The Belarus Wage Indicator team, already coordinating a set of successful Russian-language sites, is going to help the Russians to get their digital act together.

Wage Indicator team sponsors Lucky Stars in Gugulethu

Side by side they stand: soccer star Lutho Cubeka from the soccer team of Gugulethu, a poor Cape Town suburb, and FC Barcelona player Messi. The Wage Indicator Foundation sponsors through its South African team Lucky Stars, the club where 8-year old Lutho Cubeka plays with his buddies. Wage Indicator has been publishing salaries of VIP's worldwide for years now. By contrast the young talents of Lucky Stars earn nothing - yet. But they do not score less! Therefore they get a podium place online worldwide next to their heroes. In the largest arena ever with over half a million spectators each month.

Besides getting a podium place the team of Lucky Stars is outfitted with shirts, balls, socks and shoes. Thanks to a contribution by the Wage Indicator Foundation and co-sponsor Bafanakids. Bafana Bafana ('the boys' in Zulu) is the nickname for the national team of South Africa. In this way the World Cup in 2010 can become an unforgettable event for the Bafanakids from Gugulethu too. 

Bafanakids is an initiative of Abang Africa Trust and Ajax Cape Town to provide townships with sports facilities, outfits and equipment.

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