The CTU today is welcoming the decision to increase the Minimum Wage to $21.20 an hour from April 1st, 2022. This increase ensures that Minimum Wage workers do not fall further behind other workers and means that their incomes are protected in real terms, said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.
“For a full time Minimum Wage worker this means an extra $48 a week in income, or $2,496 annually. Official estimates are that around 300,000 low-income workers will benefit from this change.
“The CTU believes that increases in the Minimum Wage are both essential and desirable. Unemployment is at record low levels. Employers primary concern in surveys is their inability to access labour. There has never been a better time to increase the minimum wage. Despite suggestions to the contrary, international and New Zealand evidence suggests that increasing the minimum wage does not increase unemployment.
“This increase will help ensure that lower income families across New Zealand can look forward to better pay packets from April. Along with Fair Pay Agreements and Social Insurance, this is another step in creating better working conditions for Workers in Aotearoa. This increase also makes sure that some of most critical workers during COVID-19 get a fairer deal for their contribution.
“While we support this change, the CTU is disappointed that the government did not choose to increase the Minimum Wage to the Living Wage at this opportunity, as had been requested by a petition of thousands of front line workers.
“We feel that this would have genuinely changed how we view Minimum Wage workers, and how we value the impact they make. The CTU is calling for a conversation as a country as to how we lift the minimum wage in the future, and how we go-about making that decision,” says Richard Wagstaff.