Wellington City Council (WCC) has decided to not automatically extend its living wage policy to future contractors, following backlash from the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, John Milford said that the living wage was “not practical,” and called for WCC to engage in discussion about future plans.
“What we have agreed is that any future contracts for the living wage, with third party contractors, that it will not be a requirement for them to pay the living wage,” said Milford.
Despite this, not all WCC contractors will go without the living wage, with current cleaning and security contractors receiving it from July of this year. WCC currently provides the living wage for all internally employed staff.
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If the Chamber of Commerce opens the discussion again, WCC said they will again advocate for the living wage.
The Living Wage Movement—which calls for worker’s hourly wages to be enough to cover their basic life necessities—was started in Auckland in May 2012 and Wellington in August 2012, before spreading around the country.
The living wage is currently set at $19.80, $4.55 more than the standard minimum wage determined by the government.