by ROWENA OREJANA
Living Wage Movement Aotearoa has called on employees to urge their employers to implement
a living wage instead of a minimum wage.

Diane Yukich
Diane Yukich

Speaking at the “Working Together for Vulnerable People” workshop in Ponsonby on April 22,
Living Wage employer accreditation coordinator Diane Yukich said the living wage now is $19.25 an hour. The minimum wage is still $14.25.
The Living Wage Movement is an organisation built by faith, union and community groups to
work on a common platform to reduce inequality in New Zealand.
“Pope Francis called on Catholics in particular, as well as non-religious, to activate their commitment to a living wage,” Ms Yukich said.
She said the aged care sector is growing rapidly, but it is growing “on the back of people’s absolute struggle to survive”.
Too often, she said, employers say the issue is not the money, but how to implement a living wage.
“What often stops us from advancing social justice is equally present in the way that we organise our finances. Every employer who came on board with this had to do some reorganising,” she said.
She said by challenging organisations who pay people cleaning their toilets wages that keep life as a daily struggle, we can move towards a fairer society.
“It’s hard to challenge the institutions where we find comfort and belonging. But if we are going to make a society that we want to live in, we have to do that,” she said.
A living wage rate is computed or calculated, based on expenditure items for a modest weekly budget for a family of four where one of the parents is employed full time
and the other part time.

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