Exciting opportunities for Living Wage leaders

23 Jul
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Moliata makes a difference in Christchurch

Moliati Fataua is a cleaner at the airport on $13.85 – 10 cents above the minimum wage. Moli works from 12.30 am until 9 am, 40 hours a week, so she can be at home with her children during theIMGP4024.JPG day. At the end of the week the family live on rice or noodles because the money has run out. When asked about a Living Wage of $18.40 per hour, Moli said: ‘That would be marvellous. I can’t remember when we ever bought new clothes. I feel so sad for my kids.’

Moli shared the struggle of raising her four kids with the Spreydon-Heathcote Community. In her words: "A living wage would make a big difference. I’m speaking not just for our family, but for all families in this situation.” Living Wage Christchurch are holding conversations with the city Council, encouraging them to undertake a feasibility study into the costs and benefits of adopting the Living Wage.

Momentum continues to build in Christchurch with church leaders, the Shareholders Association and National Council of Women hosting presentations on the topic.

Pictured is Moliata (right) with Kate Day from the Anglican Social Justice Unit in Christchurch.

Poverty persists in Aotearoa

In 2012 between 500,000 and 750,000 people in NZ were living in households with incomes below the poverty line; up to 270,000 NZ children were estimated to be living in poverty – 1 in 10 Pakeha, and 1 in 5 Maori and Pacific; and 2 in 5 poor children come from families where at least one person is in full time work or self-employed. This is some of the latest information in the Ministry of Social Development’s Household incomes in New Zealand: Trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2012 prepared by Bryan Perry (www.msd.govt.nz)

Living Wage Aotearoa’s convenor, Annie Newman, responded on Breakfast to Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett’s statement that incomes had risen and inequality had "flattened". You can watch this here.

Living Wage Movement growing in Dunedin

The Living Wage Movement is alive and well in Dunedin. On 3 July around 40 people attended a meeting at a local school to talk about the principles of the Living Wage and were addressed by John McKenzie, principal of North East Valley Normal School, which is the first New Zealand Living Wage school. All the school cleaners and school support staff are paid the Living Wage of $18.40.

Local Government Election

Auckland communities will be coming together in August and September to seek support from Auckland council election candidates for a Living Wage and a number of other issues. Each community forum will have a different series of questions, relevent to the communities hosting the meetings. The seven forums will bring together migrant, faith, youth, women, union, Maori, and pasifika communities. Candidates will be asked to support the Auckland Council adopting a Living Wage by paying a Living Wage to directly employed staff and workers employed by contractors delivering services on a regular and on-going basis. Hosting groups will also be asking questions critical for their communities such as:

  1. Do you support the Council funding and operating housing for the needy with adequate social support for residents?
  2. Do you promote opportunities for internships, apprenticeships and co-option of students of refugee background at Auckland Council?
  3. Do you support Auckland Council prioritising the safety of women and children in its collaborative work with the community to prevent and stop family, whānau and sexual violence?

Learn to be a leader in our Movement

The Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand has just been granted $30,000 from the JR McKenzie Trust to run residential training on building a broad-based community alliance. This is an exciting opportunity to grow our Movement and build capacity for your own organisation. The trainers are community leaders from the Industrial Areas Foundation in Canada and the United States. This will be held in November in Auckland and Wellington and include leaders from Christchurch and Hamilton. Priority will be given to Members that are active in the Movement. More information will be out soon. Have you joined the Living Wage Movement yet? Joining is the next step on from signing on to endorse the Living Wage statement. You can do this by filling out and return this form.

New endorsements

The Living Wage Movement has had a number of new endorsements:

  • Christian World Service
  • Father and Child
  • Project Esther
  • Pacific Island Evaluation Trust
  • Orkod Somali Youth
  • African Communities Forum Inc.
  • Pacific Island Evaluation Trust
Do you want to volunteer some time to help the Living Wage Movement for local council elections, contact us on info

Are you a photographer? Do you like to sketch? If you are keen to be part of a collaborative workshop to create Living Wage posters come to the next Auckland Living Wage network meeting and hear from the artist that has offered to facilitate this project.

Upcoming Auckland Local Government Forums

  • Unions and Living Wage Aotearoa NZ @ Papatoetoe Cosi Club – August 22, 4-6pm
  • Women’s organisations and Living Wage Aotearoa NZ @ St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby – September 3, 5.30-7.00pm
  • Youth and Living Wage Aotearoa NZ @ Auckland University quad – Date and time: TBC
  • Migrant and Refugees and Living Wage Aotearoa NZ @ Mays Rd Memorial Hall – September 7, 4-6pm
  • Faith-based groups and Living Wage Aotearoa NZ @ St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby – September 10, 7-9pm
  • West Auckland communities and Living Wage Aotearoa NZ @ Tuvalu Church, 15-17 Aetna Place, Henderson, September 18, 6-8pm
  • Pacific Communities and Living Wage Aotearoa NZ @ Pacific Island Church Otara – October 4, 5-7pm
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