Plans to lift the minimum wage for Hamilton City Council staff have failed.
An ambitious proposal to introduce a “living wage” of $18.40 per hour over two years was today voted down 6-5 as councillors baulked at its costs.
The council voted in May to introduce a living wage over two years, from this year, on the strength of a February estimate it would cost $168,000 to lift pay rates for 80 permanent council staff now paid between the minimum and living wages.
But management now say the resolution covered 144 staff, and their revised estimates showed the cost would be at least $643,000.
Mayor Julie Hardaker said once the council’s “toe was in the water” on a living wage policy it would be very difficult to review it, or roll the changes back.
The weird thing with the original decision is they were outsourcing their wages policy to a couple of people in the Hutt Valley. Whatever they said was a living wage, would be automatically implemented by the Council!