Minimum pay rise not enough for struggling families and children
A fifty cents an hour rise in the minimum wage will do little to provide relief for families struggling to feed kids on low wages.
NZEI Te Riu Roa Support Staff National Caucus Chair, Sue Nimmo says teachers and school support staff see the impact of low wages on families and children every day. Many education support staff also work on little more than the minimum wage.
“People on low incomes often have to work long hours at more than one job and still don’t manage to provide for basics. That takes a huge toll on families and children.
“Poverty has a huge impact on children’s educational success. And sadly, we’re now working with entrenched inter-generational poverty.
“Children who are hungry, cold or not getting adequate medical treatment arrive at school unable to learn properly and that has a big impact on their educational outcomes.”
That’s why NZEI Te Riu Roa supports the campaign for a living wage of $18.40 an hour.
“We want the government to fund schools so that all school support staff are paid at least a living wage.”
School support staff worker, Jo Vaughan says many school support staff, such as teacher aides, are working for less than a dollar an hour above the new minimum wage of $14.25 an hour.
“Many of those are working part-time and have little or no job security,” she says.
“Anyone on a low income can tell the Minister of Finance that food, rent and petrol prices have gone up significantly in the past year and an extra 50 cents an hour will provide little relief for family budgets.”