26 Mar 2017

Promised living wage not in WCC cleaning contract

9:48 pm on 26 March 2017

Wellington City Council has released a cleaning contract for tender, without mention of paying workers a living wage, despite a commitment by the mayor, Justin Lester, to pay all long term contractors a living wage.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in support of a living wage for low paid contracted council staff.

Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate-Cox

The three year contract covers housing complexes, community centres, public toilets, sports pavilions, grandstands, churches, the landfill, a swimming pool and a sports centre.

  • Housing: 45 housing complexes located throughout the city
  • Public conveniences: 64 of public toilet facilities
  • Sports pavilions: 45 sports pavilions
  • Grandstands: two grandstands
  • Council churches: three chapels
  • Community Centres: two centres
  • Council landfill: staff offices and facilities
  • Swimming Pool: Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre
  • Sports Centre: one ASB

In September, Justin Lester, pledged publicly at a debate that he would roll out the living wage to contractors.

Mr Lester said he would shortly be releasing the council's annual plan, which commits to bringing contractors doing regular and on-going work up to the living wage, which goes to $20.20 an hour on 1 July.

Mr Lester said the contract currently out for negotiation was written by the city's previous administration, and provision for the living wage can be added into negotiations.

The lobby group, Living Wage, said it was satisfied that the council would eventually put all staff onto a living wage and said the city was on track to being the first in the country to do so.

Living Wage's Lyndy McIntyre said she was confident the mayor and councillors would deliver on the promises they had made and there would be a staged process.

Ms McIntyre said it was not clear which contracts would have the living wage included in them first, but she was confident it would be done over the course of the next few years.

  • Living wage debate re-ignites in Wellington
  • Goff promises push for council staff living wage
  • Minimum wage 'doesn't really cut it'
  • Wellington City Council softens living wage policy