30 Oct 2012

Local Nauru detention centre workers paid up to 10 times less than Australians

4:30 pm on 30 October 2012

Residents of Nauru working at Australia's recently re-opened detention centre for asylum seekers are being paid up to 10 times less by the contractors running the facility than Australians doing the same jobs.

The Australian newspaper reports Transfield Services is paying the about 70 local workers between four and 10 US dollars an hour compared with the 40 dollar hourly rate of their Australian counterparts employed by a Transfield subcontractor, Wilson Security.

The paper quotes a Nauruan saying people quit their jobs to work at the detention centre on the understanding their rates of pay would be as high as the last time it was open, between 2001 and 2007.

Clint Deidenang says four dollars an hour is not a low wage on Nauru but people were paid more when the centre was run by the International Organisation for Migration under the Howard government.

A spokesman for Nauru's government, Rod Henshaw, is reported as saying different rates of pay applied at that time and four dollars an hour is what Nauruan senior public servants earn.