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Living wage for all workers doing council work

11 August 2013

Media Release:

Living wage for all workers doing council work to be funded by heavy cuts to council management salaries

Over the past 20 years wages for council employees have decreased by at least 20% in real terms while salaries of senior council managers have skyrocketed.

As with other sections of the public service, private sector values of greed and salary-ratcheting at senior management level have permeated the council to the detriment of employees who do the actual work that keeps the city moving.

Minto for Mayor’s will deal with this in a cost-neutral way whereby –

·         All Auckland Council employees and employees of council contractors would be paid a minimum of the living wage ($18.40 per hour) which would be funded by cuts to salaries of the mayor, CEOs and senior managers at the Council and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)

·         The Mayor’s salary would be set at four times the living wage and the Auckland City CEO’s salary to five times the living wage.

·         It will be a condition of all contracts where people are employed to do council work that casual and part-time employees will have their hours made up to 40 hours per week before new employees are taken on – a “security of hours” provision.

·         We will investigate ways of ensuring that council consents which apply to large corporations are issued conditional on the living wage and “security of hours” provisions applying to its employees.

Where Auckland Council employees are paid less than the living wage their pay and security of hours would be adjusted immediately. Where the council retains contractors to do council work it will be a condition of every contract that the contractor pays employees at least the living wage and applies the “security of hours” provision above.

The several million dollars needed for this policy will be found from heavy cuts to the salaries of the Mayor and senior council management staff.

The policy will see the Mayor’s salary cut from $240,000 to $153,088 while the CEO’s salary would be reduced from $768,759 to $191,360   

The CEO salary would set the benchmark for other council salaries.

Currently there are123 senior management staff of council and council-controlled organisations who are paid more than $200,000 each. This is offensive when families are struggling across the city on low wages and no guaranteed hours of work.

These management salaries will be reduced through a restructuring of senior management positions.

It’s also disgraceful in Auckland that corporations like the Skycity casino continue to pay many staff a fraction above the minimum wage while they rake in massive profits from an exclusive gambling monopoly. Similarly corporations such as McDonald’s thrive on low-paid, insecure work for their employees.

When these corporations need to apply for council consents it is Minto for Mayor’s intention that the council set minimum standards of employment as a precondition for any consent.

With this policy the council will provide strong leadership to Auckland businesses to adopt the living wage and “security of hours” as part of their minimum employment standards. The council would publicly applaud companies which adopt these standards.

The council would also be providing leadership to oppose the corporate culture of greed which has meant unjustifiable, exponential salary increases for senior managers in the private sector while wages for employees are screwed down to the minimum.


© Scoop Media

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