By BENNY SANDEKA
TRADE Unions and other workers unions throughout the country have been urged to ensure their members participate in a national Household Income Expenditure survey currently being conducted by the National Statistics Office.
The statistical data collected in the survey will assist the National Statistical Office to rebase the Consumer Prince Index and give a real picture of the living standards of the working class citizens of Papua New Guinea.
"This survey is very important for the unions in this country," said Francesca Tinabar, Acting Project Director of this survey.
"Union movements are asking for pay increase for their workers but there is not much statistical information or data available right now to back up their demand for wage increase," said Ms Tinabar.
Ms. Tinabar said, this is an opportunity for the Unions and as such, they are asking them to urge their members to cooperate with researchers of the National Statistical Office when they visit their members in their houses.
So far, those in the settlements are cooperating well with the researchers but working class citizens are reluctant to give the necessary information the researchers need.
When the Bank of PNG is calculating the Consumer Price Index, it is using the 1977 information as a base for its calculations.
Ms. Tinabar said, this information is too old and does not really reflect the cost of living in PNG today. The statistical data obtain from the current survey will re-base the Consumer Prince Index to give a real picture of how poor or rich Papua New Guineans are.
There are many complaints by the trade unions in PNG that their workers pay does not match the prices of goods and services currently on the market. Until and unless this claim is quantified by statistical data, it would carry some weight for negotiations with the national government for wage adjustments.