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Thursday May 10, 2018

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Mayor reaffirms living-wage pledge as letters of support handed over By Jamie Adams

Representatives of Living Wage Wellington presented Wellington Mayor Justin Lester with over 1000 signed letters at Newtown Library on Thursday. The letters support the commit-

ment of the Mayor and councillors to paying all its staff and contracted staff a “living wage”, an hourly rate of income deemed to be the amount needed to pay for life’s necessities and be able to fully participate in society. The first New Zealand living

wage of $18.40 was announced in 2014 and with annual updates it is now calculated to be $20.55. The current minimum wage is $16.50 Three library employees, who all earn the living wage, joined lobbyists at Thursday’s symbolic presentation to tell why it was so

important to them. Receptionist Lauren Hedley says for her the difference between the minimum wage and the living wage is the difference between her going and not going to the dentist. Cleaner Mohamed Mohamud, who came to New Zealand from

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester and southern ward councillor Fleur Fitzsimons with the box of letters calling for the $20.55/hour living wage. With them are from left: Wellington City Missioner Tric Malcolm, Living Wage Movement community organiser Lindy McIntyre, Reverend Sunny Taimalegai of Berhampore Assembly of God, cleaner Mohamed Mohamud, security guard Wayne Richdale, librarian Lauren Hedley and translator Adam Awad. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

$34m put aside as more bus lanes proposed Wellington City Council has earmarked $34 million to help improve Wellington bus services with bus-priority lanes and new shelters as part of its draft 10-Year Plan. Councillor Sarah Free, the public transport portfolio holder, says Wellington’s population is expected to grow by up to 80,000 people in the next 25 years so it’s important the city has an efficient and user-friendly public transport system. “A reliable and affordable bus service is vitally important if we don’t want to end up with gridlock as the city grows,” she says. “While the regional council is responsible for bus routes and timetables, Wellington City Council can help ensure the service is more reliable by putting in more bus lanes and bus-only lanes and by giving buses priority at controlled intersections.

“This project will reduce pressure on private transport and help make bus travel times quicker and more reliable. “We’re also going to roll out 70-80 new bus shelters over the next decade to help ensure public transport is not only affordable and efficient, but a comfortable option for Wellington residents,” she says. The proposed changes will be done in coordination with Let’s Get Wellington Moving and the development of Wellington’s cycleways. Cr Free says it’s important the Council hears what the community thinks of the plan.  People can read the plan and have their say via www.10yearplan.wellington.govt. nz or through social media via #WgtnPlan.. Submissions close on Tuesday, May 15.

Care givers become care receivers – dental, that is Miramar was among the branches of Lumino The Dentists which, for the fifth consecutive year, provided free dental care for hundreds of deserving patients nationwide on Saturday. Lumino and Carers NZ, the national body that provides advice and support to family carers, partnered for the second year to provide free service to 450 family carers, in what is the largest free dental

event in the country. A team of 83 clinical staff and close to 150 support staff from Lumino The Dentists were on hand to treat or assist the unpaid carers at the 32 participating practices. Miramar receptionist Nisha Patel says the event was a great day. “All the patients were lovely and super grateful,” she says.

Somalia as a refugee, works 47 hours a week at various libraries, starting at 6am. Through a translator he says increasing the wage makes a big difference in providing for his six children. “It helps pay my rent and living expenses.” Security guard Wayne Richdale says although he has no dependents he has seen how not earning the living wage can affect those with families. “One woman I know would go without dinner to feed her children. There are a lot of families doing that.” Public Service Association National Secretary Glen Barclay says they are pleased with the progress made by the Council. “We are not quite there yet and these letters are so important because there are still people we need to get across the line.” Justin says it is pleasing councillors are no longer debating the merit of a living wage and it is simply a case of “when” not “if”. “We will be accredited to it by the end of the [council term].” Nearly 100 New Zealand employers are already fully accredited Living Wage employers, including Wellington employers such as BERL, Pivotal Print, Fix and Fogg and The Rogue and Vagabond bar.

Cook Strait News 10-05-18  

Cook Strait News 10-05-18

Cook Strait News 10-05-18  

Cook Strait News 10-05-18