Work Minister Jorge Triaca

The government has set the 27th of June as the official date for the national Conference on Salaries. The announcement was published yesterday in the Official Gazette, and the conference will take place in the Ministry of Labor, where civil servants, business leaders and union representatives will meet to discuss, chief among other topics, the new minimum wage.

The current minimum wage in Argentina is set at AR $8060 per month. The latest increases were decided in May last year, when the government made a plan to raise the minimum wage in three installments, the most recent of which brought it up to the current figure this January.

This time the government’s intention is to raise the figure by 20 percent, once again in installments, bringing it up to AR $9672. However, the CGT umbrella union is campaigning for a rise of 25 percent, which would bump the sum up to AR$ 10,000.

It’s fair to clarify that the direct effects of the legal minimum wage are limited — according to estimates, only 200,000 workers earn that sum nationwide —  since most workers are subject to collective agreements between unions and employers. However, the figure set does help as it serves as a standpoint to resolve outstanding wage negotiations.

The other effect of the minimum wage rising is that for the first time, 350,000 recipients of the so called planes sociales will see the money they receive increase at the same time since, according to the “Social Emergency Law” law sanctioned at the end of last year, the values of these programs must be correlated with the minimum salary and cover at least half of it.

Also set to increase is the value of unemployment benefits, with a current minimum of AR $1875 and maximum of AR $3000. Presuming a 20 percent increase this would go up to a maximum of AR $3600.

On the 27th the Commissions for Minimum Wage, Unemployment Benefits, Employment, Professional Training, Productivity and Strengthening of the Social Security System will convene at the Ministry of Work. The plenary session will take place at 4pm that day, in which the plan for the new minimum wage will be set out.