Porirua City Council set to introduce the living wage

'What we’ve experienced is improved staff morale and an enhanced ability for employees to participate in family lives'

Porirua City Council set to introduce the living wage

Porirua City Council has announced it will introduce the living wage which will come into effect from February next year.

The announcement came after a recommendation by City Direction Committee Chair 'Ana Coffey to introduce the living wage for Council employees had been supported by the committee.

The recommendation was that the Council approve an increase to its minimum hourly wage rate to $21.15 effective from 28 February 2020 and allocate additional funding of $107,000 in the 2019/20 year and $320,000 annually thereafter.

Moreover, the Council announced an increase in its minimum hourly wage rates annually on 1 July each year thereafter to match the prevailing living wage rate as part of its annual salary review process.

It is likely that this will be confirmed by the Council on 26 June, and will increase the pay of 120 Council workers.

Coffey said it’s important to take a “principled approach decision making”.

“The increasing financial pressures on the local government sector are not going to change. But it can’t be at the expense of our employees who deserve to earn a wage that allows them to live with dignity,” said Coffey.

Wellington City Council last year became the first Council in New Zealand to become an accredited Living Wage employer, and more are adopting the policy.

In particular, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester welcomed the news that Porirua City Council decided to become a Living Wage employer.

 “It’s great that Mike Tana and his Council have voted for the Living Wage,” said Mayor Lester.

“It will help increase the living standards in the wider Wellington region. What we’ve experienced is improved staff morale and an enhanced ability for employees to participate more fully in family lives and their communities. I am confident Porirua will see similar benefits.

“Like any good neighbour, we’ll support Porirua City Council every step of the way.”

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who holds the city’s Living Wage portfolio, said the decision in Porirua to adopt the living wage will mean these workers can spend more precious time with their families.

“The living wage allows workers to meet the basic costs of living and take the family for the occasional night out,” said Fitzsimons.

“The living wage is a fair and humane approach to employing people and I encourage all employers in Wellington to move all low paid staff to the living wage. It is a decent and fair approach to running a business.”

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