Friday, June 15, 2018

A living wage for public servants

The government will be paying all public servants a living wage:

All core public service employees are being given a pay rise to at least the living wage of $20.55.

The new hourly rate, which works out to an annual salary of $42,744, will apply to full-time, part-time and casual employees.

It will be implemented on September 1.


ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said it could put pressure on other businesses to match the increase.

"It does have the potential to spill over and influence what other people may need to pay to attract and retain people."

Which is the point: not just for the government to be a decent employer itself, but to create pressure on other employers to do the same. Which is why employers groups hate this: because its a direct attack on their cosy low-pay cartel, and on the unjust profits they extract by underpaying their staff.

Hopefully this is just the beginning. The next step is for the government to require a living wage for all crown entity staff, and all contractors as a condition of doing business with them. But that's probably one for next budget cycle.