It’s been a while since the Living Wage Hutt Valley Network has met, although many of you have been working hard to ensure the most vulnerable in our communities are supported during the COVID-19 crisis. The crisis has also shown us that the Living Wage is needed now more than ever. More than ever we need to look out for our most vulnerable, including workers on the lowest rates of pay. These workers need the Living Wage to get by. Anything less means they and their whānau will struggle to live in dignity and participate in society. We need to value our lowest paid workers who have been critical to the delivery of essential services and all the other workers whose work has been undervalued and underpaid. And we need our lowest paid workers, who spend all their incomes supporting the local shops and businesses, to have money in their pockets to support local economies.
A call to action on Hutt City Council’s annual plan:
Because low paid workers need support more than ever before, we expected Hutt City Council to ensure that the lowest paid workers received a much-needed pay increase this year. But the HCC draft annual plan includes a wage freeze. Although it makes sense to freeze high salaries, wage freezes disadvantage the lowest paid. This is a call to action. The Living Wage Hutt Valley submission on the HCC annual plan was sent out, as well as asking for submissions by 23 May to support the councillors who want to continue to support the lowest paid in the HCC workforce and take leadership in our community.
A new campaign:
Because of the importance of the Living Wage in the post COVID-19 economy, we’ve launched a new campaign called NEVER GO BACK, and will aim to:
- Support and promote Living Wage Employers, especially locals like: Seashore Cabaret; Hutt Union & Community Health Service; Miss Fortune’s; Manaaki Ability Trust; Good Fortune Coffee and Waglands, a holiday retreat for dogs in Normandale.
- Call on local councils, like Hutt City Council, to show leadership in their communities and hold the line on the Living Wage.
- Organise to ensure the next government is one that takes leadership and pays their own workforce the Living Wage.
Farewell: Lyndy MacIntyre has retired from the community organising role and Marion Drake, a student leader is taking on the role. Lyndy has been a dynamo for the Hutt Valley network. Jan Heine
Kia ora Living Wage supporters
It’s been a great year for our local Living Wage Network. We will meet 5.30-7.30pm Wednesday, 20 November at Hutt Union and Community Health Service, 51 Farmer Crescent, to celebrate and make plans for another successful year in 2020.Councillor Josh Briggs will attend our meeting and update us on the new Hutt City Council’s plans for the Living Wage.
Here are some of the highlights of the year:
- Seashore Cabaret became New Zealand’s biggest Living Wage employer in the hospitality sector.
- Hutt City Council voted to lift the contracted cleaners from the minimum wage to the Living Wage.
- We organised over 100 people to our election forum and secured public commitments to the Living Wage from nearly 20 candidates.
- A clear majority of the new Hutt City Council have committed to becoming a fully-accredited Living Wage Council, including the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor
Ngā mihi, Lyndy McIntyre November 2019