Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand
… in every case a just wage is the concrete means of verifying the whole
socioeconomic system and, in any case, of checking that it is functioning justly.
1981 Pope John Paul II
As the gap between the rich and poor grows in New Zealand and poverty increases, more and more New Zealanders don’t get paid enough to meet their needs, enjoy their lives and participate in society.
All over the world communities are uniting to address poverty and inequality through living wage campaigns. The Living Wage Campaign in Aotearoa New Zealand is being initiated by the Service and Food Workers Union Ngā Ringa Tota. It aims to connect unions, community and faith-based organisations together around a common goal of achieving a living wage as a necessary step in reducing inequality and poverty in our society.
The Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign says:
A living wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society. We call upon the Government, employers and society as a whole,
to strive for a living wage for all households as a necessary and important step in the reduction
of poverty in New Zealand.
Why do we need the Living Wage Campaign?
l New Zealand has gone from one of the most equal countries in the OECD to one of the most unequal in the past 20 years
l The richest 150 people in New Zealand grew their wealth by 20% in 2010 while wages moved by less than 2%
l The top 1% of earners has more wealth than the bottom 60%, or three times more than the combined cash and assets of the poorest 50 per cent
l 200,000 NZ children are likely to be living in poverty – one in six Pakeha, one in four Pacific, and one in three Māori children
How will the Living Wage Campaign become a reality?
l Local and central government should lead by example and ensure their employees are paid
a living wage
l All publicly-funded bodies should operate “responsible contractor” practices that guarantee
a living wage for workers indirectly employed within their business
l Corporates and other employers who can pay should lead the private sector by paying a living wage
What will the Living Wage Campaign do?
l Call for a living wage that is based on an independently calculated rate
l Work with local networks to build local organisation to address local needs
l Acknowledge the many facets of a living wage including tax, transfers, and social services
l Recognise the many voices in our community that are fighting for a just society for those in and outside of paid work
l Make the living wage a real issue that unites communities
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