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E tū welcomes Regional Council Living Wage vote

28 September, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

E tū welcomes Regional Council Living Wage vote as a major step forward

E tū has welcomed today’s unanimous vote by Wellington Regional Council to support the Living Wage.

The current New Zealand Living Wage is $19.80 an hour.

Today’s resolution applies to directly employed staff, with councillors also voting for a staged implementation of the Living Wage for council-controlled organisations and contractors who deliver council services.

E tū’s Acting National Secretary, John Ryall says he’s “ecstatic” about the vote, which makes the Wellington Regional Council the first in the country to adopt a Living Wage resolution.

“This is a major step forward for the Living Wage movement, and fantastic news for the workers who will receive this pay increase”, says John.

“Many E tū members have worked hard to see the Living Wage implemented by local councils and this is a vindication of that effort.”

Directly employed council staff are already paid above the Living Wage.

But John says workers for Council-controlled entities and contractors, including cleaners and security guards can look forward to a considerable lift in pay.

“Once this is implemented, they will get a major increase in their income, by as much as 25 percent so this is a pretty powerful resolution”, he says.

He says it’s also a signal to other Wellington employers to take the Living Wage seriously and lift low pay.

John says the councillors heard today that while Wellington is the wealthiest city in the country per person, it also has the highest income inequalities.

Today’s vote follows moves by the Wellington City Council to pay the Living Wage to direct employees as well as dozens of council contractors.

Porirua City Council has also lifted pay for its lowest-paid directly-employed workers, while the Hutt City Council has commissioned a report on whether it too should pay the Living Wage.

ENDS


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