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Whau Local Board Suuports A Living Wage

Whau Local Board Suuports A Living Wage

The new Whau Local Board has backed a Living Wage and is calling on other West Auckland Councillors to do the same.

In a meeting held last night in New Lynn community leaders from the Living Wage West group addressed the Whau Local Board and asked the Board to support “Auckland Council implementing a Living Wage as a minimum for all its employees alongside a phased introduction of a Living Wage as a minimum for contracted workers as tenders are sought for services delivered on a regular and ongoing basis”.

The Board were told by Living Wage West advocate Fala Haulangi that Wellington City Council had voted today to adopt a Living Wage for their employees.

The Board also heard from a Council cleaner Ana Matalolo who currently earns $14.10 per hour to clean the Whau Local Board office and Council libraries in the west. She said “With Christmas only weeks away being able to buy a Christmas tree and presents for my grandchildren is something I just cannot afford. Our priority is paying the rent, power, putting fuel in our car and food on the table. I would like to support my grandchildren develop their natural talents in music by paying for lessons, but these are luxuries we cannot afford.”

In addition, the Board were asked to “support the statement above in the consultation period with the Council over the budget” and to “encourage the West Auckland councillors, through written communication, to back this statement in the budget discussion on the 19th December” when the Annual Plan will be discussed by the full Auckland Council. Councillor Ross Clow was present at the meeting.

The Whau Local Board voted to support all the recommendations.

The Living Wage has been independently calculated at $18.40 per hour and represents the amount that workers need in order to survive and participate in society. Many cities around the world, including London and 20% of UK councils have adopted the Living Wage. Council adoption in these cities has led the way to many businesses also stepping up to pay the Living Wage and enhance the overall economy.

Auckland Council will consider the budget proposal regarding a phased introduction of a Living Wage for direct employees in a meeting at the Town Hall at 10am on Thursday 19 December.

Living Wage West spokesperson, Fala Haulangi says the impact of the living wage is huge. "People want to live, not just exist. Having to do two low paid jobs just to feed your family means that you can't enjoy a social life or get involved in community activities, you just don't have the time and energy. Earning a living wage puts more spending power back into the local economy, which benefits everyone."


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