Petition backs council’s living wage policy
May 10, 2018
A large red box containing more than 1,000 letters in support of the living wage was presented to the Wellington City Council( at the Newtown Library on Thursday.
Mayor Justin Lester and councillor Fleur Fitzsimons were greeted by representatives of Living Wage Wellington and library staff that had benefited from the increased income.
The council is set to be the first living-wage-accredited council in the country. The living wage campaign was launched in 2012 under then Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown.
Lester committed to ensuring all council workers, including those employed by contractors, were paid the minimum of the national living wage in his 2016 election campaign.
Fitzsimons was “absolutely thrilled” with the result as leader of the living wage and social development portfolios.
She said she was struck by the level of community support and efforts to engage with the campaign.
“This moment goes to the heart about what’s really good in New Zealand – respect for working people and their families.
“[The living wage] changes lives and communities.”
A security officer at the Newtown Library, Wayne Richdale, spoke of the positive impact the living wage had on his life.
“[It] keeps my shoulders above water. Having been there [struggling to make ends meet] I know it’s not easy.”
The first living wage of $18.40 was announced in 2014. The rate is reviewed annually and today sits at $20.55.
Campaign organiser Lyndy McIntyre said other councils were following suit across the country.
The Auckland City Council voted in support of a living wage for council workers last year. The Hutt City Council and Porirua City Council were looking at ways to implement the scheme.