The Green Party is celebrating a landmark change in the law that will ensure more people are paid what they deserve.
“The Green Party has long supported fair pay agreements so more New Zealanders are paid fairly for the work they do. Today is a huge step forward in our work to build an Aotearoa that works for everyone,” says the Green Party’s workplace relations and safety spokesperson, Jan Logie.
“Fair pay agreements are about making sure that more people – those who work in supermarkets, cleaners, security, early childhood centres – have good conditions and are paid what they deserve.
“Peel back the layers of the cost of living crisis and what we actually have is an inequality crisis. Wages have not kept up with inflation and people have to work longer in order to make ends meet.
“For people struggling to get by on their current wages, fair pay agreements will help change this and ensure they are paid enough to support their families, pay the bills, and put a roof over their heads.
“Amongst those who will benefit most from fair pay agreements are the essential workers who helped our communities get through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The very least we can do is pay them what they deserve.
“Fair pay agreements will also make an important contribution to closing the ethnic and gender pay gaps, ensuring women and people in our Māori, Pasifika and other ethnic communities will be paid fairly.
“Today is a great day for the working people of New Zealand and it would not have happened without the crucial mahi of unions and workers.
“I would like to acknowledge the huge contribution unions have made towards making Aotearoa a fairer place. This legislation shows what we can do when we come together to fight for change that benefits everyone.
“The same collective spirit should also apply to guaranteeing pay equity for nurses, as well as better pay and conditions for our teachers and firefighters.
“The Green Party was delighted to support fair pay agreements as the legislation made its way throughout Parliament.
“At various points we did make clear that the bill could have been made even more effective by including contractors and widening the scope of the agreements. But even without this, fair pay agreements will make a huge difference to peoples’ lives and we’re delighted this legislation has passed,” says Jan Logie.