So close, Hutt City Council, so close! While they already pay the Living Wage to their directly employed workers, the Council voted in early July to extend the Living Wage to their contract cleaners, effective 18 August. This is great news for our cleaning members there, like Toreka Tanu, who explains how much it means for her.
“Oh, I was so happy, because it’s very helpful for me, my kids, and my family,” says Toreka.
“The best thing with the Living Wage is having enough in my hands for the finances. Everything is so expensive: the bills, the shopping, clothes – everything I need to support the family,” she says.
Instead of the minimum wage of $17.70, Toreka will earn the current Living Wage of $20.55, which increases to $21.15 on 1 September. E tū will continue to campaign to secure the Living Wage for other contracted workers.
Porirua City Council has also voted to pay its directly employed workers the Living Wage from next year. However, contract council workers aren’t included, and they should be, says OCS cleaner Salota Sami, who earns the minimum wage.
“I want my wage to increase to $21.15 too,” says Salota. “I need it to support my family and my health. I have high blood pressure and diabetes and sometimes I can’t afford my medication. We need the Living Wage too!”
Campaigning in the local body elections 2019 is well underway and the Living Wage Movement will again be hosting its popular forums, so the public can hear directly from the candidates. Each candidate will be asked to make a commitment to supporting a Living Wage Council which means paying the Living Wage to their directly employed and contracted workers.