Workers get welcome boost in Government's first priorities

Working New Zealanders will be better off under the new Labour-Greens-New Zealand First government, the PSA says - with fairer pay and well-funded public services front and centre in the coalition agreements released today.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay said today’s agreements speak to the real and pressing need for higher wages.

"The Government’s plan to increase the minimum wage will significantly improve life for low-paid workers," Mr Barclay said.

The Government’s commitment to reverse National’s nine-year spiral of health underfunding will also make a tangible difference.

"Health workers have been bearing the burden of underfunding for almost a decade," PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk said.

"Today’s commitment to properly-fund health, including establishing a Mental Health Commission and ensuring people can access free counselling, offers a much-needed reprieve."

Today’s agreements also reflect a Government willing to tackle systemic inequality.

Ms Polaczuk says the commitment to eliminate the gender pay gap in the core public sector will set a precedent women in workplaces everywhere can be sure of.

"Women have been calling for fair and equal treatment in the workplace for over a century.

"This Government is already demonstrating it will champion women’s rights at work and that support can’t come soon enough," Ms Polaczuk said.

Other priories including the establishment of an independent climate commission, a housing commission and investment in regional economies support the PSA’s own agenda to create better working lives for its members.

"We look forward to seeing more from this Government," Mr Barclay said.