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Pinoys, other foreign maids in Hong Kong, get HK$180 pay hike

September 20, 2012 9:00am
Foreign maids in Hong Kong, including Filipinas, have won a HK$180 (P967.33) pay hike that will raise the monthly salaries of those with new contracts to HK$3,920 (P21,066.21) starting on Thursday.

According to a report of the news site The Standard on Wednesday, the 4.8 percent increase is the biggest in years.

The Standard said there were 309,896 helpers in Hong Kong as of August 2012.
 
The report said if an employer does not provide food for the helper, he or she must provide a HK$875 (P4,702.28) cash allowance for food, higher by HK$100 (P537.40) or 12.9 percent, from the previously mandated food allowance.
 
In June last year, the Hong Kong government raised the foreign helpers' minimum allowable wage by 4.5 percent, from HK$3,580 (P19,239.04 ) in 2008 to HK$3,740 (P20,098.88).

The Standard said the pay hike on Thursday translates to an accumulated increase of 9.5 percent in the past four years.
 
The report said contracts signed on Thursday or earlier "will still be processed, provided the applications reach the Immigration Department by October 17."

Under these contracts, the wage set for maids is at HK$3,740 while the food allowance is HK$775 per month.
 
Wants higher pay
 
Meanwhile, Fish Ip Pui-yu, organizing secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said they welcome the pay hike but will lobby for a monthly wage of at least HK$4,000 (P21,496.13).

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions helps the Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers' Unions. 
 
Pui-yu described the pay increase for maids only as "moderate," saying the cost of living is becoming more expensive in Hong Kong.
 
A Hong Kong resident, Laura Lau, who has two maids, said it was not easy to hire a maid now as they have more markets to choose from like Canada.

While she said good domestic helpers do deserve a better pay, she said "many of us really don't have better pay." - VVP, GMA News