Fairer wages for contracted public service workers

  • As part of our economic plan, Labour will invest in our people by supporting more low income working New Zealanders.
  • Labour will progressively extend Living Wage guarantees to contractors to the public service
  • This will encompass public sector contractors working as cleaners, caterers, and security guards

Labour will extend Living Wage guarantees to public service contracted workers – starting with our cleaners, caterers, and security guards. This could mean almost an extra $100 a week for a contracted worker who is currently on minimum wage.

“As we recover and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19, Labour is committed to helping working New Zealanders by raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, growing jobs and investing in the economy. That’s why, as part of our economic plan, we will extend the Living Wage to core public sector contractors in the next parliamentary term,” Labour Workplace Relations and Safety Spokesperson Andrew Little said.

“Labour has always stood for fairness at work, high quality high wage jobs, and an improved quality of life for our workers. That’s why in 2018 we ensured that all employees in the core public service received at least the Living Wage, including full-time, part-time and casual employees, with 70 percent of those benefiting from the increase being women.

“COVID-19 has shone a light on the many workers who do important work in our community but who are not well paid for it. We can do a lot better at lifting wages and easing financial stress for hard-working New Zealanders,” Andrew Little said.

Economic Development spokesperson Phil Twyford says contracted workers are the backbone our public service. “These are the workers that clean the office late at night, start work early to cater for conferences and stand in the cold making sure our offices are safe for everyone. The work contracted employees do help us all to do our jobs.

 “Paying contracted workers a Living Wage will be a great boost to their household incomes and improve life for them and their families. This money will be spent back in the community, meaning it will benefit the wider economy at the same time. Paying the Living Wage to contracted workers is a win for everyone.

“Investing in our people is one part of Labour’s five point economic plan. By increasing wages for some of our lowest income workers, we can ensure all New Zealanders get to share in the benefits of our economic plan as we recover and rebuild together,” Phil Twyford said.

Fact sheet