web analytics

Living wage rises to $20.20 an hour

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, February 21st, 2017 - 30 comments
Categories: human rights, quality of life, wages - Tags: ,

Congratulations and thanks to all the employers already paying their staff a living wage:

Living wage put at $20.20 an hour

Living wage campaigners are encouraging companies to pay a minimum of $20.20 an hour from July. The rate, more than $4 above the adult minimum wage, is at the level needed to provide families with the necessities, they say.

Krissie, a cleaner for The Fresh Desk company in Lower Hutt, is paid the current living wage of $19.80 an hour. She said it had made a huge difference to her life. …

This piece makes an odd argument against the minimum wage:

Living wage rises, amid call to do away with minimum

Darryl Evans, chief executive of the Mangere Budgeting Service, said staff who were paid at least the living wage would feel more valued, they were likely to work harder and be more committed so there was less staff turnover. He described it as a win-win for businesses and staff.

But he said the minimum wage was a problem. “I strongly believe we need to not have a minimum wage.” … He said it drove employers to pay people that minimum rate, rather than considering what value staff offered the business.

Evans said it was almost impossible for families to survive on that. Many he dealt with had to choose whether they paid rent, petrol, food or other bills because they could not pay for everything.

“We need to drop the minimum wage and pay people what they are worth,” he said. …

I admire Mr Evans’ optimism, but I do not share it. Without a legal minimum wage most employers would pay less, not more. If good employers want to pay more than the minimum right now there is nothing stopping them…

30 comments on “Living wage rises to $20.20 an hour”

  1. saveNZ 1

    Personally would like the debate to start about UBI…

    • Peter Bradley 1.1

      Spot on. Constantly pushing up the living wage as though businesses in the real world are going to be able to keep up is just a game of fantasy.
      There has to be permanent and feasible wealth redistribution built into our economy – it’s not going to happen via wages ever – UBI is the only answer.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.1

        Wages and UBI can both be part of improving things I feel.

        Equality can be improved via wages – it has been in the past in NZ, and is in Japan and Germany currently, as examples.

      • millsy 1.1.2

        Seems to be OK for landlords to be endlessly be pushing up rents.

        • Richard McGrath 1.1.2.1

          They can only do that because the National Socialist government make it difficult and expensive to build new housing.

    • millsy 1.2

      I prefer the good old social wage myself. Free healthcare, education, state housing, access to arts and culture, subsidised utilities, etc.

  2. The Fairy Godmother 2

    Yes the statement about the minimum wage seems odd. I do see where he is coming from though. In early childhood we have a whole lot of minimum standards. One of the problems as a speaker out from Reggio Emillia from REANZ so succinctly put it is that “the minimum standard becomes aspirational”. We don’t strive to be the best we can be we strive to be the worst we can get away with. However I wouldn’t want to get rid of minimum standards for childcare or wages until we turn our whole society around from a focus on profit making to one of being the best we can be for everyone – for our employees and for our children.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1

      I liked Nick Hanauer’s comment on the minimum wage:

      “But here’s the thing. When those who set bad examples, like the owners of Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, pay their workers close to the minimum wage, what they’re really saying is that they’d pay even less if it weren’t illegal. “

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Mr. Evans has just explained why the minimum wage needs to go up.

    What are the odds that he’s one of those Tories who “gives generously to charity”.

    Perhaps he should be sent on a fact-finding tour of countries with no minimum wage to help him re-connect with reality.

  4. Molly 4

    The reasoning is flawed. Current market competition will reward those employers or businesses that cut expenses by paying less wages than a living wage (or to put it in more realistic terms – a “non-livable” wage).

    Those businesses and business owners will thrive, on the expectation they can continue to pay those non-livable wages, and the other businesses will struggle to compete.

    The same issue comes to value. Not all employers are able to ascertain value to business in the same way. Some employees are “valuable” primarily because they can be relied upon to do their job (and more) without asking for more pay.

    The ability to ask for the level of pay that reflects your value to a business is not universal, which results in a lot of variance in renumeration sometimes even within the same organisation.

    In essence, the living wage should be the lowest we are prepared to accept that people are paid for full-time employment, and the minimum wage only gets abolished when the living wage replaces that in legislation and policy.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Well said Molly and with light and not all the heat that found its way into my comment.
      (Which I still stand by though.)

  5. dialey 5

    Oh goodie, my recently negotiated PSA pay rate for administrators is now about the same as the living wage.

  6. greywarshark 6

    The budgeting advisor either is completely gullible or believes in fairies or both.
    Without a minimum wage employers would pay less. If anyone is truly interested in this business of decent wages he/she should be fully conversant with the whole picture, not making naive, ignorant statements.

    Sure the minimum wage should be higher, but the reason that it is paid is because its law. If employers were really nice people they would try to pay more, they might set reasonable targets per month and give staff bonuses if met. But you don’t take away a legal sure thing in favour of good feelings and fair dealings.

    The point about set wages is that everyone has to pay them and no scumbags can get away for ever not paying them and therefore being able to undercut everybody’s prices with the portion of their poor employees’ wages that they withhold from them. That’s not good for business, and not good for employees so stuff that up your earhole budget advisor, that’s good advice to you.

  7. In Vino 7

    We need a total change of perspective. The minimum wage is utterly demeaning, and destroys the recipient’s sense of self-worth. I despise anyone who accepts the idea of working long hours for less than $20 an hour – they should know that they as people are worth more than that. And I doubly despise the profit-gouging, greed-ridden Capitalists who preach market forces and economic efficiency to justify their exploitation of these people. (They are people, not a labour commodity, and the Capitalists make me wish for the existence of a vengeful God.)

    The acceptance of huge salaries for top CEOs and sub-living-level wages for the working poor is a pustulant sore on the face of our society which far too many of us are willing to tolerate.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The acceptance of huge salaries for top CEOs and sub-living-level wages for the working poor is a pustulant sore on the face of our society which far too many of us are willing to tolerate.

      QFT

    • Greg 7.2

      1000 percent. Vino

  8. greg 8

    living wage should be extended to all Auckland council contracts Auckland is a high cost city to live in or is staff who are forced work on contracts second class workers to be treated like shit.

    • In Vino 8.1

      ‘treated like shit’

      Yep.. I said utterly demeaning – same thing. I hold in contempt those profit-gougers who try to justify low wages.

  9. NZJester 9

    The theory for dropping the minimum wage looks good until it hits the one big real world problem that makes the theory fall over (Greedy People). The theory of trickle down economics falls over due to the same problem (Greedy people just bank the tax cuts and not reinvest it in job creation). Even with a minimum wage, there are still a small number of businesses owners out there trying to find ways around it to underpay their employees. Making employees buy things that are needed to do their job themselves that should be supplied, supplying accommodation at live-on sites at an inflated rate, unpaid overtime kept off the books, and making employees pay for items stolen during their shifts are just some of the measures some greedy people use to underpay employees.

    • Richard McGrath 9.1

      The old straw man makes a comeback – you realise ‘trickle-down’ is an invention of Keynesians, don’t you?

  10. Dave Jennings 10

    If the minimum wage was done away with, it may give the unscrupulous employer, ,and there are plenty of them a field day to pay an even lower rate of servitude pay.
    So I think it would be wise to keep the current minimum wage in place ;but it needs to reflect the current cost of living. Which is sky high.
    The National Government would dearly love to help their business mates out, by having a free for all in the wages arena. only greater poverty will ensue.
    Dave Jennings,
    Tokoroa.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
    The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires. “The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Reducing the cost of education
    Twenty-two more schools have opted into the Government’s policy of providing $150 per child to schools who don’t ask parents for donations– bringing the total number of schools in the policy to 1,585. The Ministry of Education has accepted late opt ins past the November 14 deadline from schools that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Road deaths lower in 2019, but still more work to do
    “As we enter the new decade, my thoughts are with the families, friends and communities of the 353 people who lost their lives in road crashes last year. While the number of deaths is lower than in 2018 (377), this is still a staggering loss of life,” Duty Minister Iain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago