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Great start on living wage proposals at Council

Media release: Living Wage Wellington

Embargoed until 6am, 6 December 2013

Great start on living wage proposals at Council

Living Wage Wellington is welcoming an announcement that Wellington City Council is progressing plans to pay its staff a living wage, with the first step moving all directly employed staff to the living wage by July 2014.

Living Wage Wellington spokesperson Brian Dawson said it was also very encouraging that council was committed to ensuring workers employed by CCOs or contractors are not left behind.

“We are pleased that Council has made good their commitment to begin to implement the living wage,” said Reverend Brian Dawson.

“Many workers employed in Council Controlled Organisations and by contractors are on very low rates of pay, and it is essential that they are brought up to a living wage also.

“Our city’s parking wardens for example earn just $14.40 per hour doing really tough work.  They too need an income that enables them to more fully participate in their communities, not just exist.”

Most contract cleaners in the council workforce are on $14.10 an hour.

Brian Dawson said Living Wage Wellington was encouraged by Council’s commitment to making sure these workers are not left out.

“We would like their pay to be at a living wage now, but we will work with Council between now and next July to make sure they are included in the new Long Term Plan,” Brian Dawson said.

The Mayor and a majority of Councillors made a pre-election commitment to “take all possible steps in the next term to support Wellington City Council becoming a Living Wage employer by paying a Living Wage to directly employed and contracted staff,” he said.

“Wellington has the highest average household incomes in New Zealand but also has the biggest gap between rich and poor.  Our city has the capacity to address poverty and inequality, and Council can take a lead in this. It is good news that this process has begun. It is off to a good start and now we look forward to working with Council on its implementation”.

Living Wage Wellington is an alliance of Wellington faith-based and community organisations and unions, which is under the umbrella of Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand. Living Wage Wellington was launched in August 2012. 

Ends.

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