Too low salaries are one of the most urgent issues to solve in Cambodia. Many people survive on an income that is far below what is needed to support their families. Factory workers in the garment sector earn below 200 USD/month, teachers usually around 230 USD/month, in the hospitality business in and around Siem Reap salaries start at 100 USD/month .. all for full-time occupation (48 hours/week).
Rent, transport, food, medical care, personal care, clothing… Some reputed organizations calculated that a minimum salary for a single-person household should be at least 300,- USD.
Let’s make a simulation :
- Room rent : 50,- USD/month
- Meals (a very basic meal, water to drink, 3 times/day, 1,5 USD per meal : 135,- USD/monthFor many people, it already stops here, not enough salary to pay even this!
- An extra drink a day : 15,- USD/month
- Gasoline for the motorbike to go to work : 10,- USD/month
- Credit for the phone : 5,- USD/month
- Laundry : 3,- USD/month
- Personal Care (soap, toothpaste, haircut…) : 5,- USD/monthWe’re over 220 USD/month now! Hard to find people earning more than that!
- Electricity for light and fan (no aircon of course) : 15,- USD/month
- Some new clothes (t-shirt, underwear, shoes…) : 5,- USD/month (that’s if you’re ok with the cheapest options or second-hand stuff).
- Flat tire on the motorbike, oil change…
- Downpayment for the motorbike
- Downpayment for the phone
- Tuition fees if you want to attend some extra training
- Hope they don’t need a doctor, dentist nor medication
Everyone will agree that this simulation is far from complete, look at your own shopping cart or compare your monthly spendings!
We think that organizations (public sector, businesses, NGOs…) paying too low salaries to their employees are a part of one of the biggest problems in Cambodia, rather than contributors to a solution to it.
At The Teacher Development Support Organisation we have, as the law doesn’t impose it, set our own standard for a minimum wage. This is based on proposals set forward by unions and human rights organizations.
We work with a minimum salary of 400,- USD for a full-time equivalent, pro-rata for part-timers.
No-one in our organizations has a salary below this threshold!
Given that this is a minimum, salaries can be higher, depending on education, experience, performance, and market conditions.
We do not reveal the detail of the salaries of individual employees, this in respect to their privacy.