NZ Union Movement Supports Improvements to Gun Laws

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

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New Official Living Wage Rate Announced

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

The CTU welcomes the updated Living Wage rate of $21.15 per hour.

The independently assessed rate is defined as being: ‘the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society.’

“We celebrate those working in the Living Wage Movement who ensure the vision of a living wage is a reality for thousands of working Kiwis. We also acknowledge those employers who have decided to pay those they employ a wage they can actually live on. These employers know that paying a living wage is the fair thing to do,” CTU Vice President Rachel Mackintosh said.

“Since 2013 the annual Living Wage Rate has been reassessed each year. It is impossible to ignore the fact that today the minimum wage has increased to $17.70. So the difference between the living wage and the minimum wage is now $3.45.”

“We encourage all employers to do the right thing and ensure that they pay their employees a wage they can live and flourish on,” Mackintosh said

For more information https://www.livingwage.org.nz

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Transforming New Zealand’s low wage economy

Source: Council Of Trade Unions (CTU) – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Transforming New Zealand’s low wage economy

This commentary is an edited version of a recent speech, “Transforming New Zealand’s low wage economy”. Whether we look at international comparisons, or look at whether employees are getting a fair share of the income that their work generates, New Zealand is a low wage economy. New Zealand wages adjusted for the cost of living have fallen from middle of the 23 countries in the OECD in 1990 to 5th lowest. Part of the reason is the poor productivity performance of firms. But wages have failed to keep up with even that weak productivity growth. If real wages in the market economy had risen at the same rate as labour productivity since 1989, the average hourly wage would have been over a quarter or almost $8 higher in March last year. Similarly, we can look at the share of the nation’s total income going to wages: the labour share of income. If it was the same as in 1981, average annual wages would have been $11,800 higher in the year ending March 2018. We have among the lowest labour income shares in the OECD – 7th lowest in 2017. It is sobering that two of our largest export industries, agriculture and tourism, have among the lowest wages.

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National Day of Remembrance; together we can create a future of unity

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

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NZCTU supports Climate Strike

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

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International Women’s Day March 8

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

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Tens of thousands of Kiwi workers sacked

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

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What the Tax Working Group did and didn’t do

Source: Council Of Trade Unions (CTU) – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: What the Tax Working Group did and didn’t do

The Tax Working Group (TWG) has
reported back. The reactions to the proposal for taxing the income from capital
gains have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and from “it doesn’t go
nearly far enough” to “this is the end of the kiwi way of life”. They have
exposed a class society where one group of people seemingly believe that almost
everyone owns at least one investment property and a bach (no wonder they
didn’t believe there is a housing crisis) while the experience of most is that
buying even one house is increasingly unaffordable.

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CTU welcomes Tax Working Group report

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming the release of today’s report from the Tax Working Group. The CTUs Economist Bill Rosenberg was a member of this group.

“It is good to see that the Working Group has come up with some tangible things that the government can do to create a fairer system for all Kiwis,” CTU President, Richard Wagstaff said.

“There is no question that we, as a society, have some serious challenges to face especially when it comes to the imbalance in wealth. Taxing the income from capital gains is an important piece in the puzzle making New Zealand a fairer place. Those who complain about taxing this income like all other income, are those who are currently able to play the property market as if it were a game of monopoly. So many working Kiwis are struggling to buy a single home because of the way that the wealthy few can use this subsidy to speculate. With wages receiving a falling share of the nation’s income it is increasingly important that taxation of income from capital is made fairer,”

“Working Kiwis deserve a better deal and now the government needs to show what they are made of and show that they truly do care about making ours a fairer system,”

He also welcomed the proposal by the Tax Working Group that member tax credits for Kiwisaver members should continue when they take parental leave from work to have children. “We have long advocated this and would like to see the proposal taken up and expanded. It helps working parents to continue saving while they are caring for children,” Wagstaff said.

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CTU supports improved laws on equal pay

Source: Council of Trade Unions – CTU

Today oral submissions begin on the Equal Pay Amendment Bill and the Council of Trade Unions is one of the first off the blocks to support this law at Select Committee.

“We all know that Kiwis believe in fairness. This Bill will make New Zealand a fairer place by making sure women are paid fairly,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

Jeanette Wilkinson will also be making an oral submission today. Jeanette is a medical secretary, a role she has been in for over 18 years and she’s passionate that all working women should have a brighter future, “Every day I make a difference in people’s lives. I transcribe technical, complicated information about people’s bodies. The field I specialise in is complex. it’s my job to understand the medications and procedures being described so that sick people can get better. The doctors tell me what an important job I do and patients and their families value me but I have never earnt enough to save for my retirement.”

“I want anyone who works in a role which has been mostly done by women, to be paid a fair wage, a wage which finally values the importance of their work. A wage which allows them to support themselves and their families and allows them to save for their retirement,” Wilkinson said.

“The pathways for this legislation were worked through extremely thoroughly by the Joint Working Group on Equal Pay. Agreement was reached and the legislation reflects that process,” Wagstaff said.

“There is still more that can be done to ensure that equal pay becomes a reality and we’ll be seeking some important improvements to the Bill. But this is an excellent step forward. We will continue to work with government and business to break down the barriers which prevent gender equality,” Wagstaff said.

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