The Government are running out of time to honour their 2017 promise to pay the Living Wage to core government workers employed by contractors.
All three Government parties made the commitment in the 2017 election campaign to “support and promote changing government procurement policies to ensure that all contracted workers, who are delivering a regular and ongoing service to the core public service, move to the Living Wage within the next term of government”.
Today, on International Day of Justice for Cleaners and Security Guards, E tū members are urging the Government to recognise their value by sticking to that Living Wage commitment.
E tū member and Otahuhu Police Station cleaner, Rose Kavapalu, was recognised by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the COVID-19 lockdown for the hard work that she does.
Now, Rose and her family have had to move in with relatives because they simply cannot afford Auckland rents.
“I am left with no choice but to move in with my family and live with my parents as I couldn’t afford the $400 rent anymore,” Rose says.
“Even though I work two jobs, 65 hours a week on the minimum wage. By the end of the week, my body is sore and so tired I am left with no energy to enjoy life with my family.”
Rose says receiving the Living Wage could change her family’s situation overnight.
“I will be able to work one job, able to afford the rent, and most of all enjoy spending quality time with my family.”
E tū Assistant National Secretary Annie Newman says COVID-19 has led to public recognition of essential workers and the crucial work they do.
“The crisis and response has highlighted what cleaners and security guards have always known – that their work is essential, difficult, and risky, while their low pay is barely enough to make ends meet,” Annie says.
“As we rebuild our economy, we must no longer accept that low wages are OK for anyone, especially essential workers. The Government has a responsibility to play a leadership role here.
“They have done the right thing by paying the Living Wage to directly employed workers in the core public service. Now’s the time to honour the promise to their cleaners and security guards – they are the stars who are shining bright through COVID-19.”
information and comment:
Annie Newman, 027 204 6340