Tauranga City Council has agreed to implement the living wage as a minimum standard for all directly employed City Council staff.
The living wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to pay for the necessities of life and participate as an active citizen in the community.
It reflects the basic expenses of workers and their families such as food, transportation, housing and childcare, and is calculated independently each year by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit.
The 2018 living wage is $20.55 per hour.
During the June 2018 council salary review process, Council found 31 positions being paid below the living wage.
Tuesday’s decision means that any direct council employee being paid below the living wage would have their salary raised to $20.55 per hour by June 2019.
This will cost an estimated $28,000, which can be funded within the existing salary budget.
Deputy Community and Culture Committee Chair Cr Leanne Brown is pleased with the decision.
“The cost of living is constantly increasing. Adopting the living wage for direct staff puts us in line with other large businesses, councils and government departments.
“I believe it will enable a better quality of life for those of our direct employees that are currently receiving less than the living wage.
“And it may give us a better chance at attracting and retaining staff in roles in these pay structures as well.”
View the full report (page 39)
Organisations can become accredited living wage employers if they meet specific criteria, which include ensuring all employees of Council-controlled organisations and contractors are paid a living wage as well.
Tauranga City Council is not investigating accreditation at this time.