Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Living Wage at Auckland Council could cost ratepayers $17.2m

Media release

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Living Wage at Auckland Council could cost ratepayers $17.2m annually

Following on the heels of Hamilton City Council, the adoption of a living wage policy at Auckland Council could be imminent and with the multi-million dollar cost set to be lumped straight onto suburban ratepayers, warns Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer.

Mr Brewer cited a report and minutes from the Council’s Auckland Plan Committee on 12 March, where a majority of councillors voted to ‘direct officers to undertake further work on the implications of introducing a living wage for Auckland Council and any implications for the wider Auckland economy…’

“This was despite a report very clearly stating that lifting the hourly rate for 1,544 council staff to $18.40 would cost ratepayers over $2.5 million, excluding Auckland Transport and Watercare. Likewise, if the so-called ‘Auckland Living Wage’ of $24.11 was introduced affecting 3,354 staff it would cost ratepayers over $17.2m per annum.

“The report also concluded that ‘initial analysis by Finance indicates that the increase in rates needed could be 0.2% and 1.2% respectively’. The increase on the council’s salary budget would be 0.6% and 4% respectively. And that’s excluding all the staff in the two massive CCOs Auckland Transport and Watercare, so the end cost would be much higher still. 

"Given just how stretched ratepayers are at the moment, it’s crazy that majority of councillors even voted for council staff to spend even more time and ratepayers' money investigating this."

"We have over 1,165 council staff earning over $100,000 with 123 of them earning over $200,000, an annual wage bill exceeding $670m, and now many councillors also want a living wage imposed on ratepayers! It's all very well for some businesses to pay a living wage, because their customers have choices, but in local government, ratepayers have no choice but to pay any extra costs passed onto them."

Back in March Mr Brewer moved an amendment to the motion, seconded by Christine Fletcher: ‘That any further work on the living wage be done on the proviso that any extra money required be found within the current $670m wage and salary staff budget of Auckland Council, not funded by a further rates increase.’

However Mr Brewer's amendment to let ratepayers off the hook was lost five votes to 10.

“A majority of councillors seem determined that the extra cost should fall straight onto suburban ratepayers. Let's not forget that most of our elderly ratepayers are battling on fixed incomes well below the minimum wage of $13.75 an hour. Yet struggling ratepayers could soon be forced to give up more of their income to fund a living wage policy for council staff.”

“The authors of the report presented to councillors in March noted the Government’s concern about the potential loss of jobs if the policy was adopted nationally and that ‘an increase in rates may also have an inflationary effect and create an economic deadweight loss to society’. Councillors need to take heed of these concerns, and ratepayers’ back-pockets, when this issue comes back to us,” says Mr Brewer.

SEE:
Auckland Plan Committee 12 March 2013
Item 12
Agenda link to the website:
http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/AboutCouncil/meetings_agendas/committees/Pages/aucklandfuturevisioncommittee.aspx


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news