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Living Wage in the core public service shows the way

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is welcoming today’s announcement that workers in the core public service will be paid a minimum of the New Zealand Living Wage rate of $22.75 when their department’s service contracts come up for renewal. This is important recognition of both the essential role that these workers play in the public service, and of the tireless campaigning work of Living Wage Aotearoa.

CTU President Richard Wagstaff said “cleaning, catering and security guards all worked through the COVID-19 lockdowns to make sure that the country could run as normally as possible. This step is the least that we can do to recognise the important role that these workers have played. It’s time for other employers to step up and also deliver a living wage to their low-paid employees”.

“The delivery of the living wage for core public sector workers delivers on the Labour Party’s manifesto commitment at the 2020 general election. Its also delivers an hourly wage that a worker needs to pay for the necessities of life and participate as an active citizen in the community. With this step the government is playing its part in making sure that workers have the income they need for a decent standard of living.”

Richard Wagstaff said “the commitment today is welcome. Together with the work on Fair Pay Agreements, Social Insurance, and other industrial relations reforms there is a real opportunity to build better workplaces. The CTU calls on other employers to also seize the opportunity and move their low-paid workers to the living wage.”