The Living Wage represents the amount people need to earn per hour to meet basic living costs, and reflects the basic expenses of workers and their families such as food, transportation, energy costs, communication, education, housing and childcare.

Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand campaigns to lift working people and their families out of poverty wages. Over the next month they will be meeting at election forums around the country to challenge new candidates to back a Living Wage at their council.

With Wellington City Council, and more recently Dunedin City Council now both accredited Living Wage employers, the 2019 list of fully accredited New Zealand Living Wage Employers includes 157 employers (including the TEU), large and small, covering businesses in the private, public and NGO sectors.

It’s through collective action and making the voice of working people heard that positive change can be realised. The Living Wage Movement’s actions at election forums provide an ideal opportunity to encourage local councils to lead by example.

Tu Williams, TEU member and Senior Caretaker for Student and Campus Living at Victoria University of Wellington has been earning just above the Living Wage since 2018, and knows first-hand the impact the Living Wage can have on the wellbeing of working people,

“Ensuring the safety of our students and staff is a big part of our job. Every worker who is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of others at work deserves a living wage.

Earning the Living Wage means, for my whānau, I don’t have to compromise on the food quality I purchase, and I don’t have to worry about counting every cent or about the smallest surprise expense. To employers considering paying their employees the Living Wage I would say, we deserve it and we are worth it!”

The TEU continues to call for tertiary education institutions to provide a Living Wage for all staff and has been negotiating collectively at a number of institutions on behalf of both directly employed and contracted workers, particularly lower paid general staff. The campaigns play a vital role in encouraging employers to adopt the Living Wage.

For more information on the Living Wage Movement election forums

Election forum dates:

September 18, 6.30pm, Auckland election forum, St Matthew-in-the-City

September 19, 5.30pm, Wellington election forum, St Peters on Willis

September 25, 5.30pm, Porirua, PIPC Church, Cannons Creek