The Council of Trade Unions has presented a petition to Minister Michael Wood signed by thousand of workers calling on the Government to deliver a well earned pay rise for frontline workers this Christmas by raising the Minimum wage to $22.75 an hour – the Living Wage, a rate calculated by experts to be the minimum amount needed to pay for the basic necessities of life.
CTU Chief Economist Craig Renney, alongside frontline workers, presented the petition to Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood this morning, and says over 5,000 workers have signed the petition calling on the government to take action.
“Each December, the Government makes a decision on what rate the minimum wage will be set at for the following year. This year, we are asking the Minister to make this the most wonderful time of year and give the essential workers who got New Zealand through the pandemic a well earned pay rise in their Christmas stocking.
“Right now, the New Zealand economy is performing significantly better than places like Australia, the UK, the US and Canada. Despite the impact of Covid annual economic growth is 4.9%, and business profits are up 29% year on year.
“With the cost of living rising, it makes no sense for the workers who have done so much for New Zealand not to be able to afford the basics. With the cost of housing, rents, food and petrol all rising, more needs to be done to ensure frontline workers can afford the basics and get fair pay for the vital work they have done keeping our country safe and functioning during the pandemic.
“A boost to the minimum wage will also boost the economy – when frontline workers get a pay rise they spend it at the local café, the local shops or they take the kids to the movies. That money flows back into the economy and boosts local businesses. This will be a shot in the arm for communities around the country as we continue to weather the economic storm of COVID-19,” says Craig Renney