The Egyptian Center For Economic And Social Rights today filed the case 4242/jy62 before the administrative court by power of attorney from Omneya Shukr, journalist , Hind Mahmoud , student and Nagui Rashad ,laborer. The case was filed against the president, the prime minister and the minister of economic development to challenge the decision of The Supreme Council of Wages to set EGP 400 as a minimum gross pay.
ECESR stated that the decision circumvented court provisions, constitution and law articles for two reasons :
The first : The council declared EGP 400 as a minimum gross pay whereas ECESR requested a minimum basic pay. ECESR said that gross pay cannot be set before hand as it has a variable component ( incentives, raises, bonuses) that depends on production and varies each month.
In addition , all employers , including the state, tend to lessen the basic pay and raise the variable pay in order to get full control over the employee and to have an effective punitive tool. Official reports indicate that basic pay does not exceed 22% of gross pay.
The second reason : the legislator aims, by setting a minimum pay, to achieve balance between prices and wages to provide a decent life standard for workers. ECESR added that setting EGP 400 as a minimum basic or gross pay does not achieve this aim as it renders the Egyptian worker far below national and international poverty lines. The national poverty line sets a minimum monthly income per capita of EGP 656 as of 2008.
According to the assessments of the ministry of economic development , poverty lines is set at and annual income of EGP 1968 per capita . Then , the minimum monthly income for an employee as a keeper of the family of 4 = 1968/12 x4 = 656 to be on the national poverty line.
The international bank sets the poverty line by $ 2 per day per capita. Then the Egyptian worker who supports a family of 4 needs $8 per day . Assuming the exchange rate as 1$ = EGP 5 , the minimum daily income becomes EGP 40 , so the monthly income must be EGP 1200 so that the worker is on the international poverty line.
ECESR concluded the memo by binding the challenged to present the documents on which they calculated the EGP 400 as a minimum gross pay not a as a minimum basic pay. As well ECESR demanded the challenged to present the necessary documents on they calculated the figure EGP 656 and set it as the Egyptian poverty line.
ECESR demanded stopping and cancelling the decision of The Supreme Council of Wages to set a minimum gross pay not a minimum basic pay which resulted in considering that amount a minimum basic pay . As well , ECESR demanded stopping and canceling the decision to disregard the national and international poverty lines in calculating the minimum basic pay.
Regarding the status of the plaintiffs , ECESR mentioned that Nagui Rashad is an public sector employee and has direct interest in implementing the court decision. Omneya Shukr is a journalist who is harmed of not setting a minimum gross pay according to a decent basic pay. As for Hind , she is a university student who will step into labor market soon and hopes to have a job with a decent pay.