Wage Survey for a Price

October 2, 2011

As an educator I believe that knowledge should be shared freely. It is through the exchange of knowledge that advancement and understanding is achieved. So it is perplexing to me why the Chamber of Commerce would complete a wage survey study and want to charge for the "copyrighted" results.

The "2011 Survey of Wages and Salaries Among Specified Jobs and Organizations in the CNMI” that represents 8,675 jobs, could be used to determine prevailing wages for HB-1 visas. The chamber is charging "those who did not participate in the survey a charge of $500 for the information. That's a ridiculously steep price for a federally funded survey, isn't it?

Since the survey was conducted with funds from the U.S. Department of Interior I question the Chamber's "copyright" restriction and charges. If federal tax payers paid for the survey, then the information should be made public without a charge. Put it online and make it accessible to all!


Anonymous said...

Don't copyrights belong to the funding agency?

the scribe said...

If the prevailing wages in Saipan are much lower than the rest of the uS, and likely they will be, there could be some economic possabilities to bring H-1 workers for less than other US soil and with no cap on numbers. This will also encourage businesses in the NMi to hire highly skilled workers direct and will make it tough for current guest workers to find employment.

Anonymous said...

As a matter of principle, the Chamber stands on some very shaky ground.

As a matter of practice, free copies of the report are being distributed to those who responded. Someone needs to mass-copy, either hardcopy or electronic, and make widely available. Copyright infringement? Let the Chamber defend its "copyright" in court. (I think this $500 charge was the product of a lot of barstool lawyers.)

Anonymous said...

Being federally funded, Chambers to charge for the survey is illegal. The intent of the funding is to determine industries wage rates for CNMI and not solely of chamber use. Hope they come to their senses and stop playing around with federal funds. Interior should intervene on this being the funding agency.

TAGLISH said...

the scribe said "This will also encourage businesses in the NMi to hire highly skilled workers direct and will make it tough for current guest workers to find employment.

Maybe even tougher to US citizen workers! Look what the Gov has said, he'll bring in some more caregivers to this island that is already saturated with non-US workers. So stupid!!!

Anonymous said...

I see the Chamber changed their minds and won't charge! Maybe they thought about the federal funding and figured they would be in hot water.

the teacher said...

I don't think so Taglish, I think some unemployed citizens here will fight for the jobs (not literally, I mean legally). People bringing in workers and those hiring existing ones could face consequences. Many Americans are becoming upset over being unemployed with so many illegals there. Are situation is different but the percentage numbers as you know are staggering.

I guess the question is should everyone be allowed to stay, even the chronically unemployed. No status can be obtained from a CW permit. Do you think those without CW permits should stay?

Wendy Doromal said...

Are you talking about Americans here in the mainland when you say, "Many Americans are becoming upset over being unemployed with so many illegals there. Are [Our] situation is different but the percentage numbers as you know are staggering."?
I seriously don't think many (at least the informed) Americans are upset with illegals because they are unemployed. I live here and I do not know one unemployed American who will accept a job in the fields -not one! It's amazing how people just parrot lines from the right or tea party without really knowing the facts. The illegals here pound nails, pour tar, change beds in large hotels, pull weeds, landscape for rich people, clean houses and watch children for the wealthy, cut brush and trees to clear the land, work in stinky packing houses under terrible conditions, and fill almost every job in agriculture that no American- unemployed or employed -would ever do. The fact is that Americans have turned their eyes for decades to accept illegals who fill the millions of jobs that they do NOT want and will NOT do. Many Americans have looked the other way because they themselves also take advantage of the illegals to hire them to work for almost no pay.

In the CNMI if an employer wants to hire a U.S. citizen, he certainly can and always could have. Any U.S. citizen could have for been hired for decades under the CNMI system! In fact, there were requirements stating that an employer that hired aliens had to hire also a certain percentage of U.S. citizens. How did that work out?

The question is not whether every legal long-term foreign worker should be allowed to stay -the question is will the U.S. do the right thing and FREE them so that they have the choice to stay if they have a secure job, or the choice to leave to the U.S. or their homeland if they are unemployed. Giving them CNMI-only status so that they are chained to the islands like indentured servants, one step up from slavery forces them to stay. Green cards gives them freedom to stay if they have a job or the choice to move on if they don't have a job or if they lose the one that they have.

Many commenters here and in the MV want the legal workers to go "home", or at least many want the ones with no current jobs to be sent away forgetting how many years of their lives they served the people of the CNMI and pumped up the economy; regardless of how much money they are still owed by criminal employers; regardless of the fact that they have no opportunities or connections where they once lived when they were young. Should these people that gave so much to the CNMI when it was prosperous now be returned to a "home" where they will most likely face poverty and and uncertain futures, or do they deserve the opportunity to move to the U.S. where they at least they will have opportunities and a chance to take a few low paying jobs until a better one opens or where they have a chance to pool their money to start their own businesses? So many people want them to vanish, but why do they care so much where they go? Why is it so important to the anti-alien commenters in the CNMI that they must go where they will face poverty and hardship? It is sickening to read some of the comments. Some of the people who post in the MV (I wouldn't post their vile) truly hate the foreign workers and wish them ill. It's sick and it's un-American. Set them free and let them choose where they will live.

Taglish is right -it's stupid. The message from the Governor and from the delegate is the same. They both view workers as disposable labor units rather than as future citizens. It is this inhumanity that makes the guest worker programs cruel and unjust.

Anonymous said...

Thank you mom Wendy. Free us!

Anonymous said...

JFYI, in the Phil. they are receiving hundreds of thousands of OFW workers that are returning from other countries. Many because of war etc. BUT much more because of the host countries are facing uprising over staggering unemployment of it's people.
Middle East, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and some other countries are cutting back on foreign labor.

The PHil. is offering loans, incentives and also seminars to for teach how to start their own business.
The Phil. Govt. is also attempting to create new jobs and Foreign investment is at an all time high since pres. Aquino has been cracking down and prosecuting many of the Govt. employees involved in corruption, past and present.
There is also added incentive to Foreign business that employ ten or more employees.

Foreign retirement is also at an all time high with Korea topping the list, then China and third the US. then Korean.

The weather this year has been deadly and massive flooding. One storm after another.
But this has also hit Asia and had the same consequences.
It is not a very good timing for more large numbers of OFW's to return home from NMI.

Anonymous said...

wow Wendy, that's nice to wake "the teacher" up!

Anonymous said...

Mam Wendy,

you can include my husband. he's jobless (by choice)! i once told him "why don't you apply for that job?" (it was posted on the road. he said, "wtf! i don't like that job, leave it to the mexicans".

Anonymous said...

Calling Consul General,
Filipinos need to call the attention of the Consul General. There are lots of discrepancies in the wrong representation of most of our birth certificate (BC)from the NSO (Phil. National Statistics Office)

Before, CNMI just accepted provincial true copy of BC (or even when you obtain your passport in PI) but now USCIS only accepted NSO certified. For my more than 20 years in the CNMI more than one of my family and friends just found out that many records from NSO have a wrong spelling of our name when we obtained our BC from NSO. I have lots of friends and even relatives have the same problems from NSO suffering and need to suffer more by spending expensive defrayment just to correct the error that they did not do. There is a Presidential Decree (RA 9048) "authorizes the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general to correct a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or change the first name or nickname in the civil register withour the need of a judicial order." http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2001/ra_9048_2001.html. I called the consulate and they said they don't do that and simply told me to apply the corrections starting in the place where you were born! Don't they know that it takes 4-6 months to do that1. Yes that's what they told to my family members in the province to complete the process! Why are you giving hard time to Filipinos here, you're just ruining their future that includes kids' future. Please practice the law to help your countrymen and have them easily facilitate what they need especially this time of disorders, Nov 27 is fast approaching, although I am settled but my family and lots of kababayans are not and still unfortunate who suffers from some adverse circumstance, they are victims too!. The Consulate should act now!!! and carryout their duties - Melberlin

the teacher said...

I'm talking about the US mainland because that is where public opinion matters and policy is made, not here. Few in the US could care less what the NMI thinks, says, or does. Few in the US care that illegals are unemployed but over nine percent of the US citizen adult population is not working. It is that staggering number that hinders immigration reform and most citizens want a policy that encourages allowing the most educated and investors, not the poor, to move to America. It is that nine percent that has moved politicians away from immigration reform, and not any of us or our opinions.

And noni 8:30 was well informed to say:
"JFYI, in the Phil. they are receiving hundreds of thousands of OFW workers that are returning from other countries. Many because of war etc. BUT much more because of the host countries are facing uprising over staggering unemployment of it's people.
Middle East, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and some other countries are cutting back on foreign labor."

Anonymous said...

Wendy 4:47 Not many really want the aliens to leave. But you're right there are some mama babys and racist idiots who do and post regularly on the blogs. Red spammers are also on the loose on the MV. It's only a vocal minority that bash the NMI aliens. It's hard to find a person on island who doesn't have an alien cousin, niece, nephew, sister or brother-in-law. I agree with you, it's time to free them.

Anonymous said...

the feds screwed up letting NMI employers hire aliens with CW when they qualify for HB-1 visas. Let's keep those workers revolving and never give them status. Use 'em up, throw them out. What a plan.

It's not your money! said...

"Use 'em up, throw them out."

Why should contract workers be treated any differently than U.S. citizens? Wall Street has always treated the workers like tools, to be used until broken, then discarded. Politicians strip away collective bargaining rights, and the U.S. Supremes say corporations are people, and that it's okay for employers who engage in unfair labor practices to hire permanent replacement workers for strikers. Yuppies and DINKS complain about having to pay union dues, forgetting that the unions paved the way for the pay and benefit packages most workers enjoy.

The 99% movement is a great idea, but too little, too late. The USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Jones.

Anonymous said...

powerful human nature never change.federal bring more abuse to all workers.all employer is abusing alien workers.because of cnmi/federal govt,CNMI ecomony is sinking all the way.the fact is CNMI going to buildup
for the only military activities/base hub.CNMI never can stop USA plan.one day everyone has to leave. once military activities start.even you cant sleep well when air force has fighter training.people will tired and move to main land.get prepared.federal has plan from such a long time.they wants to shut down all business first.you will see they will do it systematically.this is the fact.

Wendy Doromal said...

It's Not Your Money

There are vast differences. The foreign workers make up 90% of the CNMI's work force and suffer and have suffered extreme abuses while the vast majority of the criminal employers have not been prosecuted. No such systematic abuses would be tolerated in the US.

But you are right America is dead, democracy is dead -it was stolen by greedy corporations, banks, insurance companies and Wall Street fat boys who have our politicians in their pockets. I think the 99% movement will continue to expand and I would not be shocked at all if people didn't start getting radical. All I hear is, "We aren't going to take it anymore." People are angry beyond belief. By the way we gained over 1,000 members in our county's teacher union this school year -people are organizing against the machine. They get it.

the teacher said...

Police and teachers are the only unions that have much clout or bargaining power left, and it will not last forever.

Teachers have historically been sheep in management vs union relations and the Wall Street crowd couldn't care less about public schools anyway, as their kids go to private institutions.

Many states have reduced the need for traffic cops with cameras and computers and most of Asia doesn't have them at all. The US military or state could replace enough cops to break their union.

Owners have their hand on the union members pulse by knowing their house payments, car payments, number of children, and the short time they can go without a paycheck.

The CNMI needed unions in the textile era but they wouldn't work now as we have America’s most obedient, subservient employees. Unemployed scabs would be lined up as replacement workers for any available NMI jobs, or employers could get a whole new batch from PI or China and still stay way under the cap.

I don't expect to see any union activity in the CNMI for at least a generation unless it is from young citizen voters protesting foreign nationals working in front of them.