Living Wage Aotearoa NZ E-News, Nov 2012

10 Nov

Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand E-news

Welcome to the third e-newsletter for Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand. With over 115 organisations endorsing the campaign, the Wellington Mayor showing interest in a living wage city, and a campaign well underway to create an Auckland Living Wage Council, the six months since our first launch has been a huge success. This is the result of the churches, communities, and businesses that have come on board giving their precious time, intellectual energy and financial donations. We are a broad-based network with a strong and united commitment to a living wage!

In this newsletter there is a request that all our endorsing organisations send feedback to the Auckland Council supporting a living wage as part of their “Thriving Communities” (social development strategy). This draft strategy draws on the London Living Wage as an example of one way the Council could enhance community well-being. There is information to support your feedback which can be a brief line in the email link provided – your voice really counts.

National Church bodies endorse the Living Wage

Two national church bodies have joined more than 115 organisations to endorse the living wage. The October E-news we reported the endorsement by the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. The Methodist Church Annual Conference has now passed a resolution “to become a supporting organisation of Living Wage New Zealand and thereby become a prophetic voice in seeking to bring economic justice to the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders living in poverty.”

Living Wage Cities in New Zealand

Hundreds of cities across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have declared themselves Living Wage cities. We can do the same in New Zealand. The Auckland and Wellington networks have begun organising towards transforming the lives of families by winning a living wage through employment practices, procurement policies and the partnerships our cities enter into with social and environmental agencies.

Have your say about a Living Wage city

Living Wage community leaders and workers came together in October to talk about the impact of a living wage on Auckland City. This was part of the Auckland Council consultation on its social development strategy called Thriving Communities: Auckland Council’s role in supporting communities to flourish. The strategy uses the London Living Wage as an example of how some cities promote well-being. This is a chance for our endorsing organisations to promote the Living Wage for Auckland City.

The consultation session involved workshops in which participants called for the Auckland Council to model good practice in procurement and in its social partnerships by ensuring all services paid a living wage to employees and contracted workers.

Follow this link for information to support your feedback or go straight to the website for a feedback form at Auckland Council Thriving Communities

A Living Wage symposium

Precarious Employment , A Living Wage and Community Responses is the title of a symposium at AUT on February 14 and 15 2013 in Auckland. The symposium is a collaborative event between Service and Food Workers Union, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and AUT. It will include international and nationally acclaimed speakers, including Guy Standing, who wrote info

Auckland Council Local Boards join the call for a Living Wage

Five Auckland Local Boards (Maungakiekie-Tamaki, Albert-Eden, Kaipatiki, Mangere-Otahuhu, and Waitemata ) have endorsed resolutions supporting a Living Wage Council following Living Wage delegations of union and community leaders (pictured). The resolutions:

· call on Auckland Council to commit to the principle of the living wage to support community well-being

· recommend the Council pay employees a living wage and incorporate the living wage and job security into its procurement policy and partnerships with social and environmental agencies

· support a living wage in its submissions to the Community Development Strategy

Some Boards have also requested a report on the impact of a Living Wage on Auckland Council prepared by a joint working party comprising representatives of Auckland Council, relevant unions and Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand.

Other Local Boards and Advisory Panels are considering the recommendations or delegations have not yet taken place.

Part 6A protections for contracted workers under attack

Contracted cleaners on $13.50-$13.85 per hour have become a recent Government target with profound consequences for the lives of low paid workers. The then Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson, has announced a decision to remove the legislative protection of Part 6a of the Employment Relations Act that ensures continuity of employment when a business is contracted out or sold. It is proposed that incoming employers with less than 20 employees (small to medium enterprises or SMEs) should be exempt from all of the Part 6A requirements.

Commercial cleaners and kitchen workers in schools, commercial buildings, rest homes and other businesses are exposed to repeated competitive tendering that drives down their incomes without the protection of Part 6A. The law was introduced in 2004 following a review that found certain employers were forcing vulnerable workers to either accept worse terms and conditions when they took over a business or lose their jobs. 65% of these vulnerable workers are women and Maori and Pasifika are over-represented. Most earn close to the minimum wage.

2012 London Living Wage announced

London Living Wage has increased this week to £8.55. The London Living Wage, which was introduced in 2005 and is calculated on the basis of the cost of living, currently stands at £8.30. The wage is not binding on any firm but up to 200 employers back the scheme, benefiting 11,500 workers since 2005. Five of 32 London boroughs have signed up, but City Hall and another five councils are awaiting accreditation. Mayor Boris Johnson said the new living wage, which is calculated by the Greater London Authority, would give people “a decent standard of living”.

Research into the New Zealand Living Wage is on track to be completed by the end of the year. This is being conducted by the Family Centre, Social Policy Research Unit in Wellington.

Public and private sectors step up to a living wage in November

Newcastle City Council agreed to give its lowest-paid workers a living wage. Two thousand people are now earning £7.20 an hour – a pound more than the national minimum wage. The amount is an independent assessment of how much it costs to live. It is estimated that the move will cost the council nearly a million pounds a year.

Long Beach, California hotel workers and community activists passed a living wage ballot measure that will help lift 2,000 people in that city’s tourism industry out of poverty. Workers at Long Beach’s large hotels will now earn at least $13 hour and will have five paid sick days a year… Long Beach Hotel Workers

Open meeting in Auckland

An open meeting will be held for all organisations involved in the Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand at 2.00pm on Thursday December 13. The venue is Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road Grey Lynn.



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