Labour to extend living wage to public service contracted workers if reelected

By Te Ao - Māori News

Extending the living wage guarantees to public service contracted workers, such as cleaners, caterers and security guards, was announced as an election pledge by the Labour Party today.

In a statement, the party said the initiative could mean, almost, an extra $100 a week for a contracted worker currently on the minimum wage.

Labour workplace spokesperson Andrew Little says the party is committed to raising wages, growing jobs and investing in the economy as part of the Covid-19 recovery and rebuild process.

“Covid-19 has shone a light on the many workers who do important work in our community but who are not well paid for it. We can do a lot better at lifting wages and easing financial stress for hard-working New Zealanders."

Economic development spokesperson Phil Twyford acknowledged the role these workers perform as part of the backbone of the public service.

“These are the workers that clean the office late at night, start work early to cater for conferences and stand in the cold making sure our offices are safe for everyone. The work contracted employees do help us all to do our jobs.

Paying contracted workers a living wage will be a great boost to their household incomes and improve life for them and their families. This money will be spent back in the community, meaning it will benefit the wider economy at the same time," Twyford said in the statement.

The living wage is currently $22.10 per hour. The adult minimum wage was increased by $1.20 to $18.90 per hour from 1 April 2020.