Living wage to increase by 65 cents to $22.75 an hour from September 1

The living wage will increase by 65 cents to $22.75 an hour, from September 1, Living Wage Aotearoa announced today.

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Rose Kavapalu works 65 hours a week at two jobs and still struggles to make ends meet. Source: 1 NEWS

The rate for 2021-2022 represents a three per cent increase, based on the average annual earnings movement in the last June quarter.

“With more than 200 accredited Living Wage Employers and a newly launched Principal Partner Council of living wage champions, we know this movement is unstoppable,” Living Wage organiser Tupouteisa Unga said.

The announcement was made as the first group of Auckland Council’s contracted cleaners get a pay increase this month to earn the current living wage, $22.10 an hour.

All staff directly employed by Auckland Council have been paid a living wage since 2019, and mayor Phil Goff has promised to extend this to all contracted cleaners by the end of the current term.

“As mayor I am fully committed to a Living Wage for those who work for council. Every person deserves a wage that they can support themselves and their family on,” Goff said.

“Two years ago, I delivered on my commitment that all staff directly employed by the council would receive the living wage. I’m proud of that."

A living wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life, according to advocates.

The increase to the living wage comes as the minimum wage increase to $20, from $18.90, came into force today.

A living wage rate of $18.40 an hour was first established in 2013.

It rose to $18.80 in February 2014, $19.80 in February 2016, and $20.20 in the second month of 2017.

In April 2018, it increased to $20.55, before rising to $21.15 the following April.