TEU calls for Manawatu to pay the living wage

Posted By TEU on May 9, 2013 |

Tertiary Update Vol 16 No 14

Massey University staff, whose minimum pay rates are more than $5 per hour below the living wage, deserve better pay says local TEU organiser Dean Scott.

“Massey is a big public employer in the Manawatu and it has a leadership role in its community ensuring local people are paid a living wage. That is, they should earn enough that they have the income necessary to provide themselves and their families with the basic necessities of life.”

“We would like Manawatu to commit to the living wage, and we would like Massey to lead the way.”

The living wage campaign has calculated the living wage at $18.40 an hour. Last week the Warehouse committed to being a living wage employer, and Auckland City Council is considering doing so, but no large tertiary education institutions have done so yet. Dean Scott would like to see Massey be the first.

“Manawatu needs good jobs with good pay and conditions if it wants people to embrace the community and be able to bring up families there. Many of Massey’s general staff, who are TEU members, are earning a wage that living wage research shows is not enough,” said Dean Scott.

The Living Wage Campaign says the living wage is more than just being able to survive because it involves the ability to participate socially and even to consider the future like being able to take out a modest insurance policy.

“It embraces small but important things like being able to pay for children to enjoy a school trip, having a computer in the home and being able to mix with friends recreationally, albeit modestly,” says its research report.

There is no evidence, the campaign says, that paying a living wage leads to job loss. In fact the benefits far outweigh any costs. Businesses that have implemented the living wage report reduction in turnover, higher morale and better public reputations.

TEU members at Massey will launch a petition in support of the living wage on Wednesday 15 May as they begin collective agreement negotiations 2013 campaign.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Budget 2013 preview
  2. Govt suppresses public education salaries
  3. Australia-wide protests over university funding cuts
  4. Employment law changes attack workers

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