It was delightful to be present on Monday 18 December 2017 to hear the Speaker of the House, the Hon Trevor Mallard announce a pathway to wards the Living Wage for Parliaments catering staff and cleaners

A buoyant group of Living Wage supporters from faith, community and union organisations gathered  with Parliament cleaners and catering staff as well as Justice Undersecretary Jan Logie (greens) and the Hon Tracey Martin (NZ First), Minister for Children.

From the E tu union’s website:  “Mr Mallard announced that catering staff would be paid the official Living Wage (currently $20.20) from July 2019, and cleaners would follow by the beginning of 2020.

There will also be steps towards the Living Wage, with both cleaners and caterers having a pay rise of half the difference between their current rate and the Living Wage in July next year.

Parliamentary cleaner and E tū member Eseta Ailaoa also spoke at the event, explaining that the wage will allow her to do things that weren’t possible before.

“This will make a difference. I will be able to save some money for myself and my kids to go on holiday,” Eseta said.”

St Andrew’s on The Terrace is an accredited Living Wage employer.  We support this move from Parliament.  We hope it will lead the way for other employers and government agencies.  It is ironic and appropriate that part of the cost of this change will come from the removal of a discount given for food bought within Parliament buildings – a kind of sophisticated Robin Hood move!  Congratulations to all who were involved in these negotiations.

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