E tū says Budget will entrench inequality despite promise of higher pay
E tū says the government has promised higher pay for workers, but instead the Budget will entrench inequality.
E tū’s National Director of Industry, Ged O’Connell says Finance Minister, Bill English has promised 170,000 new jobs by 2020, along with an increase in the average wage to $63,000 a year.
By contrast, the Council of Trade Unions forecasts a decline in average earnings of 1.4% over the next four years.
“So who’s getting the extra money? With the best will in the world, inflation alone is pushing people backwards either through an inability for people to own their own homes or pay the rent”, says Ged.
“More of a share of company profits has to be delivered to working people.”
He says there’s no money for a Living Wage, or for low-paid care and support workers fighting for equal pay.
“This government has introduced around 30 pieces of legislation to restrict workers’ bargaining rights, ostensibly to provide jobs.
“But the effect of this budget is to continue their regime of inequity.”
He says new infrastructure spending on rail, roads, housing and schools as well as new money for apprenticeships will affect the job prospects and futures of E tū members.
But he says it’s the quality of the jobs that counts: “Are these full-time, well-paid jobs?
“We always say those things don’t fall out of the sky. Employers don’t volunteer better pay. Unions negotiate them for their members.”