13 Aug 2021

Christchurch City Council will require all regular and ongoing suppliers to be Living Wage Employers.

The Living Wage is calculated independently each year by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit to reflect the true cost of living in New Zealand. 

From 21 September 2021, the Living Wage will be $22.75 an hour - $2.75 more than the minimum wage that all New Zealand employers are legally required to pay their adult employees.

At its meeting, Council decided to require its suppliers who have contracts to provide operational services on a regular and long term basis to pay Living Wage from October 1 for new contracts being entered into or existing contracts coming up for renewal.

These include cleaners, rubbish collectors and security guards.

“This is about self-worth, respect, the way we value people, equity, just reward, meaningful pay and the kind of city we want Ōtautahi-Christchurch to be” Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner says. 

“This will make a huge difference in the lives of the people it will affect and I am very proud to be a part of the Council that has made this decision.”

A report on the cost impact and supplier compliance will be presented to the Finance and Performance Committee. It is currently an unbudgeted expenditure. 

Staff will also start the process for accreditation with Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand following current negations with union. 

“We have shown leadership, we are leading by example, and I hope this in turn influences other organisations around the city,” Deputy Mayor Turner says. 

The decision is part of a bigger ambition by the Council to extend the Living Wage.

In 2017 the Council agreed to the Living Wage for direct employees and May 2019 it further endorsed making annual Living Wage rate adjustments for staff subject to negotiation with individuals and unions. 

It has also requested Council Controlled Organisations, via Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, to consider implementing a Living Wage for their staff.