Auckland Mayor pledges to extend living wage to council cleaners

Phil Goff vows to extend living wage to all contract council cleaners if re-elected.

Phil Goff has vowed to extend the living wage to all cleaners working on contract for council, should he be re-elected as Auckland Mayor for a second term.

The announcement comes after a living wage came into effect on 1 September for staff employed directly by council.

The policy was included in Goff’s first Annual Budget proposal put to the Governing Body in June 2017, with the majority of councillors voting to support the wage increase for Auckland Council’s lowest paid staff.

The council’s living wage has been introduced in three stages, with the final phase lifting the wages of the its lowest paid staff to at least $21.15 per hour.

“I’m really proud that those employed directly by council now have a wage they can live on and properly support their families. A decent society ensures that those who do an honest week’s work are paid sufficiently to meet the cost of providing shelter, food and support for their children and families,” Goff said.

“However, there are others who are employed by contractors but effectively work for council who equally deserve a wage they can live on.

“First and foremost, I think of those who come late and work through the night cleaning our offices, libraries, community centres, streets and transport fleet.

“Having been a cleaner myself in my student days, I know how hard they work and at unsociable hours.

“In the next term of council, all will have their incomes lifted to a living wage.

“I will also be asking council to compile a record of other workers who while employed by council suppliers, effectively work for council. That information will enable us to determine how, and when we can extend the living wage further.

“Paying the living wage is not simply a moral and decent thing for council to do. It also contributes to a workplace who feels their work is valued which has positive effects on productivity and lower staff turnover and training costs. Council, contractors and staff all benefit from implementing a living wage,” Goff said.

In April it was announced the living wage would increase from $20.55 to $21.15 per hour from 1 September, 2019.

The Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand made the announcement on  the same day the minimum wage rose from $16.50 to $17.70 per hour.

This year’s increase of 60 cents is in line with the movement of the average wage.

The living wage is defined as the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life.

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