The Living Wage New Zealand campaign reached a milestone at the beginning of July, with over 50 organisations in New Zealand being listed as accredited living wage employers.
This achievement was announced at coinciding events in Auckland’s Trinity Cathedral and Christchurch’s Transitional Cathedral on July 1, as both churches newly became living wage employers.
Other new living wage employers include the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, tech company WhereScape, and early childhood centre Headstart.
Bicycle Junction in Newtown and Good Fortune Coffee Co. in Petone are the only two Wellington-based companies to be accredited as living wage employers this year.
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There are currently no living wage employers at Victoria University, even though there is a great deal of support on campus, through VUWSA and the Living Wage at Vic campaign.
VUWSA Welfare Vice-President and living wage campaigner, Rory Lenihan-Ikin, told Salient that the living wage campaign reaching this milestone was “fantastic” because “it demonstrates that more and more employers in NZ care about the livelihoods of their staff.”
Lenihan-Ikin said VUWSA is “definitely aiming to be a living wage employer in the future,” as they continue to campaign “alongside other organisations for students and other low paid people to receive decent wages.” VUWSA executive members met with international living wage campaigner Deborah Littman last week as part of their campaigning efforts.
VUWSA Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer Anya Maule said that Victoria University, “as one of the largest employers in Wellington city, should be paying all of its employees a living wage.”
Lenihan-Ikin said the focus of the living wage campaign is now on “big organisations,” like Victoria University to become living wage employers, because they are the organisations most financially capable to do so.
Maule wants all organisations across Wellington to consider adopting the living wage, not just Victoria University. She believes that this would benefit students, who would be able to focus on their studies because they could work less hours but earn more, and worry less about spending money on essentials like food or transport.
The Living Wage at Vic campaign group are hosting an event on July 20 to discuss the movement’s place on campus, which will seek to show students the importance of a living wage in their own working and studying lives.