March 27, 2006
$12 the new bottom rate, says union
New Zealand’s largest union is setting a new minimum wage rate target of $12 an hour.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that lifting base wage rates to at least $12 an hour was now one of the union’s main priorities.
“If you’re an employer paying less than $12 an hour, and your workers belong to the EPMU, you’re going to be asked to pay more,” he said.
“All our wage negotiations will include claims for base pay rates of at least $12 an hour.”
Mr Little said that about 30 per cent of the EPMU’s 1600 collective agreements included wage rates of below $12 an hour. The New Zealand legal minimum wage is $10.25 an hour for adults and $8.20 an hour for 16 and 17-year-olds.
The union’s announcement comes as the Council of Trade Unions launches it Make Low Wages History campaign to lift minimum wages to $12 an hour and to scrap youth rates.