PSA wins Living Wage for public servants - what you need to know


The PSA’s won the Living Wage for all employees in the core public service. Now we need your help to make sure it gets embedded in collective contracts!

LW 4AprilThis affects everyone in the public service, not just union members – please share with your non-union colleagues and encourage them to support our efforts to give all public servants a decent wage.

This is a big win for the Living Wage movement and the PSA. We couldn’t have achieved this without the support of you, our members – so thank you once again for your enthusiasm, awhi and energy.

But this announcement is just the start.

This will be a one-off adjustment, and in subsequent years, the Living Wage will be delivered through collective bargaining. We will need your support to do this and we need to show solidarity and support for each other across agencies to achieve this.

Sign up to find out more and support our campaign. Please share this with your colleagues, especially those who aren’t union members. Even if you’re paid above the Living Wage, we need your solidarity and support so we can ensure a Living Wage for everyone in the public service.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Living Wage?

The Living Wage is defined as the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life, and to enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens.

It is calculated once a year by the independent Family Centre Social Policy Unit. For 2018 it has been determined as $20.55 an hour – this is $4.05 more than the minimum wage set by the Government.

How many people will it affect?

Around 2000 public servants are currently paid less than the Living Wage.  These people should expect to hear from their employer letting them know that their pay will be increasing as of 1 September.

What will it mean for those people?

We’ve spoken to some of our members who are currently being paid below the Living Wage and asked them what it would mean for them:

“If I was receiving the Living Wage, I would not be having to sell my home. The extra money would at least let me have coffee with friends and the occasional clothing purchase, and give me back some pride.”

“I trained for several years at a post-graduate level in order to properly qualify. Currently, I see no chance of paying off my student loan anytime soon. On a day to day basis, I am constantly worried that I won’t be able to pay for dental visits or to go to the doctors.”

How will this happen?

Minister Chris Hipkins intends to impose the Living Wage requirement through an amendment to the Government’s Expectations for Employment Relations in the State Services. In any core public service agency, the CE’s delegation to bargain collectively is subject to these Expectations.

In current and future negotiations we will need to negotiate that the Living Wage rate is the minimum rate of pay. Departments may or may not agree. There are also relativities to consider (where an increase to one group of employees has a flow-on effect for increases to others) and the Government has indicated there will be no additional funding.

In all current and future bargaining, our preparation will include asking for information about numbers and location of people paid below the Living Wage. We will seek commitments to no-one being paid below the Living Wage rate (whether or not it’s described as such) and any rates that are below this being brought up to that rate.