Living Wage gains momentum as crucial local election issue

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Support for the Living Wage is becoming a central issue in this year’s local government elections, with increasing support across New Zealand, the PSA says.

Unions and Living Wage Aotearoa have been successful in getting candidates to pledge their support for adopting a minimum $19.80 hourly wage for staff and contractors.

This is $4.55 more than the government’s current minimum wage, and PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says the support is great news.

"We’ve seen impressive movement in the Wellington region, with the Greater Wellington Regional Council voting unanimously in favour of adopting the Living Wage.

"Three mayoral candidates - Justin Lester, Nick Leggett and Helene Richie - told a PSA-organised debate they supported a Living Wage being introduced in the next 3 years.

"Living Wage Aotearoa held a number of successful forums and received excellent support from candidates in Hutt City and Porirua."

Mr Barclay says adopting the Living Wage makes a massive difference in the lives of workers - and the PSA’s members in local government would welcome its adoption across the country.

"There is a growing momentum across the country for councils to adopt the Living Wage.

"The PSA surveyed candidates in Waikato and found a majority of candidates who responded are in favour.

"In Christchurch, the rebuild has obviously taken priority, but we’re heartened that a number of candidates and tickets have pledged to begin the process, starting with a cost analysis.

"Where councils go, local business will follow - enabling more and more New Zealanders to earn enough to provide a decent life for themselves and their families."