Category: Living Wage

E tū welcomes new Living Wage of $20.55

E tū union welcomes today’s announcement of the new Living Wage rate and says there is still more work to do.

The 2018 New Zealand Living Wage rate is $20.55 an hour – 35 cents more than the 2017 rate and the smallest annual Living Wage increase since it was first launched in 2013.

The new rate was announced today by Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester at a gathering of Living Wage Employers, faith and community groups, and unions at Wellington bar and Living Wage Employer, The Rogue and Vagabond. Local and national politicians also attended.

Today’s announcement is good news for the communities of people that work for the more than 90 New Zealand companies which are accredited Living Wage Employers such as Vector, and those that work for the companies contracted to them.

It’s also good news for places like Wellington City where the council is moving towards the Living Wage for all directly employed and contracted workers, says Campaign Lead, Mat Danaher.

“The Living Wage is like a snowball,” says Mat.

“We are seeing more and more employers prepared to talk about it as a base rate. There’s a growing sense that employers know they should pay their workers enough to live on,” he says.

The new Living Wage rate is over $4 an hour above the minimum wage, and around a third of workers earn less than this.

Tassie works for a security contractor to the Ministry of Justice.

“I am earning the Living Wage thanks to the union negotiating on my behalf last year,” says Tassie.

“It’s been a huge boost. It means I can visit my son in Australia for the first time in three years.”

“Progress is clearly being made,” says Mat.

“The Government has made a commitment to paying the Living Wage to all directly employed and contracted workers in the core government, including cleaners, catering workers, and security guards, which E tū will be holding them to,” he says.

“New Zealand is taking the first few steps away from being a low waged economy with the Government’s recognition of the importance of higher wages to boosting the economy as a whole.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Mat Danaher Campaign Lead, E tū ph. 021 336 519

Parliament’s cleaners and caterers win the Living Wage

The cleaners and caterers that keep parliament tidy and healthy are going to be paid the official Living Wage by 2020.

Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard made the announcement yesterday, to a gathering of E tū  members and Living Wage community representatives.

Mr Mallard announced that catering staff would be paid the official Living Wage (currently $20.20) from July 2019, and cleaners would follow by the beginning of 2020.

There will also be steps towards the Living Wage, with both cleaners and caterers having a pay rise of half the difference between their current rate and the Living Wage in July next year.

Jan Logie from the Green Party and Tracey Martin from NZ First spoke in support of the decision.

Parliamentary cleaner and E tū member Eseta Ailaoa also spoke at the event, explaining that the wage will allow her to do things that weren’t possible before.

“This will make a difference. I will be able to save so money for myself and my kids to go on holiday,” Eseta said.

E tū acknowledges Vector as power industry Living Wage leader

E tū would like to congratulate Vector on joining the Living Wage Employer Accreditation programme and would encourage the firms in Vector’s supply chain to do likewise.

E tū Industry Coordinator Communications, Joe Gallagher says Vector’s decision is likely to lift the profile of the Living Wage within the power sector as well as influence other firms to also make the same commitment.

“We have members at Vector and this is recognition of how important the Living Wage is for working people.

“Vector has also committed to paying its contract cleaning staff the Living Wage when that contract comes up for renewal next year, and that’s to be applauded,” says Joe.

He says he also wants to see companies in Vector’s supply chain, which provide lines maintenance and other services, also embrace the Living Wage.

He says Vector is already speaking with its supply companies about this.

“We want to acknowledge Vector which has said they are already in conversation about this, and to encourage these suppliers to make the change.

“It’s important that large businesses recognise they can change the lives of their workers, including contract cleaners and Vector has proved this.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Joe Gallagher E tū Industry Coordinator, Communications ph. 027 591 0015

E tū welcomes Wellington City Council Annual Plan Living Wage

E tū, New Zealand’s largest private sector union is welcoming today’s vote by the Wellington City Council for an Annual Plan which includes a commitment to move all directly employed council workers, as well as some contractors to the full New Zealand Living Wage rate of $20.20 an hour on 1 July, with wages for other contractors also increasing as their contracts come up for renewal.

E tū Campaign Lead Organiser, Mat Danaher says: “This will immediately benefit around 100 E tū members, including cleaners, security guards, and parking wardens, both directly employed by the council and employed by contractors, and we expect the increases to be rolled out to other contract workers shortly.

“This is a victory for E tū members and our allies in the Living Wage Movement, and demonstrates the effectiveness of unions and community groups working together to campaign for the issues they care about.”

Parking warden and E tū member, John Tuiavi’i has seen his pay lift from the minimum wage 3 years ago to $19.00 an hour today, thanks to the Living Wage campaign.

He’s delighted with today’s announcement that he will soon move to the full Living Wage.

“My family is the reason I work,” says John.

“I can pay the bills, but there’s nothing left over. We stay home a lot because we can’t afford to do anything else. Now, with the extra money, I’ll be able to afford little luxuries like family trips and the occasional treat so it’ll make a real difference,” he says.

“This decision by Wellington City Council is going to echo across the country,” says Mat.

“We believe that if Wellington City Council can do this, so can other councils, and other employers. We know that Auckland Council is going to move towards the Living Wage this year, thanks to a massive campaign by ratepayers in support of the Living Wage for all council staff there.

“Other employers in the Wellington region are now going to be competing with the City Council for staff. We expect to see them starting to think about changing their wage structures in order to attract skilled and experienced staff,” Mat says.

“With the growing support for the Living Wage, and the historic Equal Pay decision this year, 2017 is when Kiwis said they were not going to accept shrinking pay packets any more. We expect to be paid enough to live on.”