Wage Gaps In The Pacific Described As Economic Apartheid

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Expat and local staff wage disparity impacts aid delivery

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 25, 2016) – A new study has found large wage gaps between expatriate and local staff in developing countries reduces the effectiveness of aid delivery.

The report said some Pacific Island countries had taken to calling the dual salary system 'economic apartheid', with the ratio of expat to local salaries ranging from 2:1 to 10:1 for staff with similar qualifications.

A coordinator for project, called Are Development Discrepancies Undermining Performance, Stuart Carr, said the disparities created significant feelings of workplace injustice.

Stuart Carr said the phenomenon was also a factor in the brain drain which sees highly qualified locals migrating overseas for better pay and benefits.

"Put yourself in a position of working alongside someone with similar qualifications and experience and you are meant to be collaborating in teams and you find out that your colleague who has the same qualifications and experience is either getting ten times more or ten times less than yourself. And in either case I think most people would find it disrupting to team work and harmony and collaboration."

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