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Council living wage takes centre stage

Published: 1 September 2017

The first phase of Auckland Council’s living wage policy came into effect today, lifting the wages of more than 1,500 employees to $18 per hour.

Wages will be progressively lifted each year until they reach an estimated $21.00 in September 2019. For trainees, interns, cadets or apprentices the minimum hourly rate is now $16.16. This will be increased to an estimated $16.80 by September 2019.

The living wage policy was included in Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s first Annual Budget proposal put to the Governing Body in June, with the majority of Councillors voting to support the wage increase for Auckland Council’s lowest paid staff.

Phil Goff says, “I campaigned on introducing a living wage for Council’s low paid staff and I’m proud that the first phase of that policy has come into effect today. It’s incredibly important that our people have a fair wage that can support them and their families to meet the costs of living in Auckland.

“The cost of living in Auckland is higher than for the rest of New Zealand and we need to recognise that in what we pay our staff.

 “I hope that with our living wage policy we can encourage other organisations with the ability to do the same.

 “A living wage is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Fair pay increases staff retention, supports gender pay equity and lifts staff morale, improving productivity,” Phil Goff says.