Happy New Year from the Living Wage Movement!

2021 has officially kicked back into gear, and the Living Wage Movement is getting back to work! Last week we were in the office in Auckland, planning out how the year was going to look. Even though last year was tough, as a movement we were still able to make some real serious change, so with a clean slate this year the sky is the limit!

Photo of Christchurch LW networkChristchurch Living Wage Network

This year we are really focusing on training. There are no elections in 2021, so it’s the perfect time to bring lots of leaders in our movement together to learn about how we organise and campaign. There won’t just be trainings in Auckland and Wellington though; we’re embarking on a TRAINING TOUR and supporting existing and new networks around the country to get involved and bring the Living Wage Movement to communities across Aotearoa.

Marlon and Teisa spelling LW with their fingersMarlon and Teisa - LW community organisers

As well as this, we are going to keep pushing the Government on the asks they committed too last year. This doesn’t just mean lobbying in the Minister’s office – as we know our Movement’s power lies in our communities, and with our people, and that’s where we’ll be getting active!

Alongside the Government there are various local councils and employers, and of course different sectors where our movement is going to be making change.

There you have it – 2021 is set to be a big one! We can’t wait to see all of your faces soon, over coffee, in the network meetings, or at your offices. Let’s get back to work!

A new Principal Partner Council lifting the bar

The new Principal Partner Council comprising a range of diverse businesses will come together for the first time in February.

The Council was announced during Living Wage Week 2020 to create employer champions for the Living Wage to extend the reach and commitment of businesses.

The current Principal Partners are Kiwibank, Westpac, AMP Wealth Management, Vector, Wiri Licensing Trust, PSA, E tū, Auckland City Mission, Downlights NZ, NZEI and Rogue and Vagabond. In other words, the council includes corporates, a social enterprise, small and medium sized businesses and faith based not for profit charities.

Designed to be advisory body of representatives the group will help to build the knowledge, innovation and voice that is essential in taking the Living Wage to a new level of acceptance in our society, at the same time as supporting the alliance with essential funds for growth.

A new rate for 2021 announced soon

The Living Wage Movement continues with its tradition of announcing the Living Wage rate on April 1, five months before businesses are required to adopt the new rate to remain accredited Living Wage Employers.

The rate is fully reviewed every five years but that is not for another three years. In between, the rate is based on the movement in average annual earnings in the previous June quarter and rounded down or up. This is announced by the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit under the leadership of Charles Waldegrave.

The rate will be announced in a press release and posted to the website and Facebook pages.

A new book tells our history

Living wage supporters stand around a table with LW cakeCelebrating our success as a Movement

Retired community organiser, Lyndy McIntyre, is writing the history of the Living Wage Movement. She has been part of this story since the idea emerged in 2011 and she was working for the Service and Food Workers’ Union, where union members had long been campaigning for decent wages. Lyndy says:

“In my job I heard story after story of the impossible job of working long hours to feed the family. Every visit I asked our members: “What is your dream?” The dream was always the same. “I want a better life for my children.”

“Impossibly long hours and poverty incomes did not realise this dream, as workers routinely missed parent teacher appointments, couldn’t afford class trips and kids went without lunch.

“It would be another five years before the cleaners of New Zealand’s parliament won the pay rise they campaigned for, for so long.”

The thousands of volunteers, leaders of our member organisations, and courageous workers who have told their stories on the public podium will be remembered through Lyndy’s book for the extraordinary success of this unique New Zealand broad based community campaign for justice.

Training: Building power in our communities

Do you want to be a leader for a Living Wage? There will be a two-day residential training at Vaughan Park retreat in Long Bay Auckland on March 5/6. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to be part of this opportunity.

Seeking community organisers

Ever wanted to be a community organiser?

Vacancy: Two half time community organiser positions (Hamilton and Christchurch)

If you are interested in being a community organiser in either of these centres, please contact Gina Lockyer for a job description [email protected]

Applications close 5.00pm, February 19, 2021.