The Council of Trade Unions welcomed today’s announcement of improvements to the minimum wage.
“The Government has shown again that it is committed to fairness in the workplace by addressing the concerns of the very low-paid,” said CTU secretary Paul Goulter.
“The increases signalled for young workers today complement other initiatives such as the introduction of modern apprenticeships. This adds up to message that it is not OK to exploit young people in the labour market.”
Paul Goulter said that the CTU would have liked to seen a bigger increase than 15c in the minimum wage, and also had a strong preference that exemptions from the minimum wage should be on a negotiated scale.
“The CTU would also have preferred an immediate move to 80% of the adult wage for young workers, rather than the move being staggered over two years. However, this announcement means significant progress has been made,” he said.
CTU economist, Peter Conway said that there had been a number of studies on the employment effects of increasing the minimum wage, including American research showing a positive effect.
“Most of the recent New Zealand research suggests that an increase in the minimum wage has a neutral effect on employment. For example, the last increase from $7.00 to $7.55 has not been identified as having a negative effect on employment,” he said.