All over the world Living Wage campaigns have a focus on public money. It’s important that public money is used ethically when funding public services and employing New Zealanders -this includes paying a Living Wage. The Living Wage Movement calls on:
-All publicly funded bodies to lead by example ensuring their employees are paid a Living Wage and incorporate the Living Wage and job security in their procurement policy and partnerships with social and environmental agencies
– Corporates and other ethical employers who can pay to lead the private sector by paying a Living Wage.
The Waikato Living Wage Aotearoa group was formed in May 2013 and held a successful first meeting attended by community groups, activists and faith groups. The first action of this group planned to lobby the Hamilton City Council (HCC) to pay a Living Wage to employees and influence contractors. Initially there was a sense of success, HCC voted to support the implementation and then a month later the vote was overturned. The meetings were well supported by the group via attendance, speakers and written submissions.
In 2014 three Waikato activists attended the Living Wage Aotearoa training.
It’s 2015 and the HCC have included the living wage as an unfunded project in the ten year plan. On May the 8th a small group met with HCC representatives to discuss solutions, explore the implications of an unfunded project and lobby the HCC to pay a living wage. The group included a new potential collaborator representing the Waikato Sustainable Business Network.
WLWA meetings in 2015 have been attended by approximately 6 people representing or linked to Unions (NZEI, SFWU, First), Greens, Labour, Youth, & Poverty Action. It appears that there is a core group of activists keen to see WLWA keep moving forward.
Accredited Employers operating in the Waikato are: Methodist City Action, Young Workers Resource Centre, PSA, First Union, NZ Meatworkers, TEU, SFWU, EPMU, Unite, First Union, NZ Labour Party and the Waikato Environment Centre.
Please contact us if you would like more information about the Waikato Living Wage Network and latest developments.