Calling for a better future: A Living Wage at Auckland Council

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Auckland Councillors received nearly 2000 submissions collected by members and supporters of the Living Wage Movement at an action outside the town hall on the final day of consultation on the Annual Plan.

The Annual Plan proposes all staff of Council and its CCOs move to a Living Wage during the next three years.  We celebrate this first step and acknowledge the Mayor and the many councillors dedicated to a Living Wage.  However, it is only a first step and we are calling for all contracted workers to receive a minimum of the Living Wage ($20.20) when they are delivering regular services such as security and cleaning.  Not only would it incentivise further low paid contracting jobs but excluding these workers means hard working cleaners, like Tuaine, are never paid a wage that enable them to live decent lives with dignity.

Tuaine Moeaki has worked at the Auckland Central Library for six and half years. She is a mother of four and her youngest is a boy at Tangaroa College. Her son suffers from asthma. Tuaine wants her son to enjoy the swimming and cooking he loves but she says she doesn’t earn enough to send him to those activities.

“He has been bugging me to buy him another shirt for school. Once again I can’t afford to get him another shirt.  I am really worried about winter coming up because I cannot get him a jumper or a jacket as they cost almost $300,” says Tuaine.

“My son wanted to do extra computing lessons but I can’t afford it as it will be another $70 a fortnight,” she says.

So, would it make a difference if the contracted workers received a Living Wage?  Tuaine says: “Living Wage will definitely make a difference to the life of my son and I would like him to have a better future just like all of us.”

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