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Government Knowingly Making Life Harder For People

Leaked government documents confirm this government will consciously do serious harm to the lives of working people and their whānau.

“Our lowest paid people deserve a pay increase, not a government that is deliberately deciding to put the profits of big businesses ahead of making sure working people are paid what they deserve,” says the Green Party’s workplace relations and safety spokesperson, Teanau Tuiono.

“For many people, the cost of paying the bills and putting food on the table has been going up. But their wages have not.

“Fair Pay Agreements were designed to raise the bar for pay and conditions in poorly paid industries. The evidence from Australia is clear - sector-wide bargaining means a better deal for workers.

“The idea is simple: people working alongside each other who are doing a similar job in the same sector, should be able to work together to make sure the minimum pay in their sector is fair for everyone.

“Fair Pay Agreements would have put more money in the pockets of people who work tirelessly to teach our mokopuna, keep our workplaces clean and safe, stock the supermarket shelves, and get us around on the bus.

“This government has not given a second thought to whether or not these people are working two or three jobs just to make ends meet. All they care about is making it easier for businesses to get out of paying proper wages.

“And here we have official advice to the new Government that spells out in black and white that young people, women, Māori and Pasifika will be harmed most of all.

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“Work had been underway under Fair Pay legislation to lift the wages of early childhood teachers, people working in supermarkets, security officers and guards, bus drivers, and commercial cleaners.

“But now the Government has basically told them all to go home and make do with what they’ve got, even as they continue to struggle to pay the rent and feed the kids.

“Our economy should be designed to meet everyone’s needs, rather than funnelling wealth to a lucky few.

“Fair Pay Agreements were an important step towards an Aotearoa where people were paid what they deserve. The government’s plans to get rid of them should tell you all you need to know about who they represent and their priorities.

“The Green Party will be a voice for working people. We will stand alongside unions to say “enough” to low wages and insecure conditions, and demand better,” says Teanau Tuiono.

Note:

Pay comparisons with Australia, which has sector-wide bargaining through the Modern Awards system

RoleAustralia AotearoaPercentage difference
Bus driver

$70-$85k per annum

In NZD:

$75k-91k per annum – midpoint $83k

$27-$30 an hour

Assume 40 hour work week

$56k-62k per annum – midpoint $59k

40% more pay in Australia
Cleaners

$55-$65k per annum

In NZD:

$59k-70k per annum - midpoint $65k

$22.70-$24 an hour

Assume 40 hour work week

$47k-$50k – midpoint $49k

32% more pay in Australia
ECE teachers

$75-$85k per annum

In NZD:

81k-91k per annum – midpoint $86k

$50-65k per annum

Midpoint $58k

48% more pay in Australia

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