E tū represents 10,000 members in Public and Commercial Services (PACS). We cover public hospitals, cleaning, security, catering, clerical, schools, hospitality, tourism, musicians, union staff, and much more.
More than two-thirds of PACS members are women. This is because occupations such as cooking and cleaning are seen as ‘women’s work’ and as a result these occupations tend to be undervalued by society and low paid. There are also a large number of migrants who work in the PACS industry and E tū is acutely aware of the need to stop the exploitation of these valuable members of our community.
About half the members in public hospitals (the biggest group in PACS) are contracted out. The same contractors are active in tertiary institutions, schools, commercial cleaning and laundries. E tū is strongly opposed to the contracting model which encourages a ‘race to the bottom’ as contractors use low wages and poor conditions to get a competitive advantage.
The Living Wage
The Living Wage campaign was formed out of the need to find new ways to win in sectors where the funder of wages is not the employer, as with contracted cleaners. This successful Movement is now an independent organisation comprising faith, community and unions working together to influence political change. Wellington City Council is set to become the country’s first Living Wage accredited council, lifting the wages of many of our members by up to 30% and transforming their lives and the lives of their families and communities. You can sign up as a supporter by going to www.livingwage.org.nz