A Living Wage for Wellington City Council

Wellington City Councillors today supported in principle to become a ‘Living Wage Council’ and a ‘Living Wage Capital’.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Councillors Ray Ahipene-Mercer, Stephanie Cook, Leonie Gill, Justin Lester, Bryan Pepperell, Helene Ritchie, Iona Pannett and John Morrison all voted to support the Living Wage. I’m glad it will include council contractors too.

Paul Eagle posted on Facebook: “This is about Wellington City taking a leadership role in addressing inequality and poverty. Thanks to the Living Wage Wellington Network and Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand for their work in bringing it to the Council table”.

It’s great to see the Council commit to this and hopefully their leadership will encourage not only other councils, but other businesses in Wellington to sign on too.

How they voted:

Officers recommend that the Strategy and Policy Committee:

16. Receive the information.
[UNANIMOUS].

17. Agree that Council supports in principle becoming a Living Wage Council and a Living Wage Capital.
[10-5: EXCEPT Best, Coughlan, Foster, Marsh and McKinnon].

18. Request officers to work with stakeholders to develop a ‘Living Wage Framework’ and a report back in November 2013 that:
a) provides for the phased implementation of a Living Wage for directly employed Council staff, staff employed by Council controlled organisations and contractors who deliver council services
b) advises of the impact on council’s procurement policy and future tendering arrangements
c) determines the role(s) for council in advocating for a Living Wage Capital.
[UNANIMOUS].

19. Make provision in the 2013/14 annual plan of $250k, funded from general rates for commencing implementation from 1 January 2014.”
[10-5: EXCEPT Best, Coughlan, Foster, Marsh and McKinnon].

Interesting to see John Morrison voting for Living Wage, I didn’t have him in my yes column – wonder if he would have if he wasn’t running for mayor. Good on him nonetheless. Apart from Morrison, it was the usual Left-Right bloc split. I’m told Justin Lester’s Kapai stores already pay a Living Wage.

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