Some of the lowest paid workers in government will be moved to the living wage, with a direction to extend it to contractors in the cleaning, catering and security guard sectors, Public Service Minister, Chris Hipkins has announced.
Minister Hipkins said core Public Service departments and agencies have been directed to ensure that contracts for cleaning, catering and security guards signed or renewed after 1 December pay at least the living wage rate of $22.75 per hour.
“Fixing low pay is a priority for this Government. We committed to extend these living wage guarantees in our election manifesto,” Mr Hipkins said.
“Cleaners, caterers and security guards on Public Service contracts with third parties do valuable work, but are not always paid at levels that allow them a decent standard of living.
“Many departments have already moved to address low wages for these workers. But Government needs to send a clear signal to give greater certainty for workers, departments and private sector businesses who hold these contracts,” he said.
“Government agencies have incredible buying power. We are using the levers of central government procurement to drive real and progressive change,” said Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash.
“We have signalled we will use procurement to enhance opportunities for diverse businesses and for women, Maori, Pasifika, youth and disabled workers; to help achieve climate change goals; and in this case, ensure people are paid a wage they can live on.
“I congratulate agencies like MBIE who have implemented the living wage in contracts for MIQ facilities. All staff across the 32 facilities are now on living wage equivalent or higher, and there is a provision built in for wages to continue to increase as the living wage increases,” Mr Nash said.
Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Michael Wood acknowledged the work of the Living Wage Movement Aotearoa and its allies in pushing for the change.
“We committed to extend the living wage in our manifesto, and for the Public Service to lead by example,” Mr Wood said.
The departments and agencies affected are those listed in Schedule 2 of the Public Service Act 2020:
Public Service Core Departments
- Crown Law Office
- Department of Conservation
- Department of Corrections
- Department of Internal Affairs
- Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Education Review Office
- Government Communications Security Bureau
- Inland Revenue Department
- Land Information New Zealand
- Ministry for Culture and Heritage
- Ministry for Pacific Peoples
- Ministry for Primary Industries
- Ministry for the Environment
- Ministry for Women
- Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment
- Ministry of Defence
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Māori Development—Te Puni Kōkiri
- Ministry of Social Development
- Ministry of Transport
- New Zealand Customs Service
- New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
- Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children
- Public Service Commission
- Serious Fraud Office
- Statistics New Zealand
- Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa—Pike River Recovery Agency
- The Treasury
- Cancer Control Agency
- Health New Zealand
- National Emergency Management Agency
- Māori Health Authority
- Ministry for Ethnic Communities
- Office for Māori Crown Relations—Te Arawhiti
- Social Wellbeing Agency