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Living wage win for core public services shows success of campaign

The Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff congratulated Living Wage Aotearoa and the Government for moving to a living wage of at least $20.55 an hour by the first of September for all people employed in the core public service.

“The Living Wage is a movement whose time has come,” he said. “The campaign has such a broad base of support from unions to faith groups to NGOs and is now well understood by Government and employers too. It has turned the ‘bare legal minimum’ concept of wages on its head and returned to a model where giving up your labour supports a decent life. It is inevitable that this is the future for acceptable wages in New Zealand.”

“The next step is to move to at least living wage for people contracted to Government services too. We’ve seen a big increase in contracting and less direct employment across New Zealand in the last few years, but contractors also deserve to be treated with dignity and earn enough to support themselves and their families.”

“Congratulations to the Living Wage campaigners who have persisted to improve the lives of the lowest paid working people in New Zealand. Today’s announcement shows the success of persistent community campaigning and organising. Change may take time, but actually, Kiwis really support looking after each other and the right of every working person to fair pay.”