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Industry standards: a solution to improving wages

Figures out today from Statistics New Zealand show that wages in the private sector are falling behind the cost of living and that urgent action from Government is needed. The average hourly wage grew by only 1.5 percent, well behind inflation of 2.2 percent over the year.

“Kiwis need wages to be increasing. At the moment they are not – which means improvements in economic conditions are not being shared with the very people who generate the improvements,” said CTU President, Richard Wagstaff.

“At present, people are keeping up with living costs by working harder rather than from decent increases in their wage rates. More couples with children are both working and many people are working longer hours. ”

“Having Industry standards allows for the terms and conditions of employment, of working people within specific industries, to be negotiated together. This is a method by which wages would be increased and real improvements in the lives of working people would be made.”

“The Government talks about the importance of lifting wages, creating a better, brighter future for working people. Supporting working people in union to negotiate industry standards is a specific and tangible way to achieve increased wages,” Wagstaff said.