Wellington ratepayers face another $300,000

February 24th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Wellington City Council is facing a budget blowout on its policy, just two months after becoming the first council to adopt it.

Councillors voted 9-5 in December to adopt the living wage for its staff at a rate of $18.40 an hour. But Living Wage Aotearoa, the group that sets the rate, has now raised it to $18.80.

Andy Foster, who voted against the living wage in December, said the increase would lift the wage bill for the 400 staff directly employed by the council by $332,000 a year.

Forcing ratepayers to fund this.

But he warned that figure could blow out to as much as $5 million if it was extended to people working for council-controlled organisations and on council contracts, and if relativity adjustments were made for other staff.

If Employee A is on $15 an hour and Employee B on $19 an hour, and Employee A moves to $18.80 an hour then of course Employee B will want to be paid say $22 an hour to maintain the relativity as Employee B’s job is more skilled.

The latest rise highlighted his philosophical concern that the council had effectively handed control of staff pay-setting to an outside organisation.

But Family Centre social policy researcher Charles Waldegrave, of Lower Hutt, who calculated the figures for Living Wage Aotearoa, defended the latest adjustment saying that, if anything, it was on the low side.

Andy Foster hits the key point here. Those Councillors who voted to pay the living wage have said that they will allow Rev Waldegrave and his mate to determine the wages policy for the entire Council. It is a shocking dereliction of duty.

And the actual living wage based on their own original methodology should be $22.89 an hour. They just decided that such a figure was politically hard to justify, so changed their methodology. So the City Council has not even signed up to a consistent methodology (otherwise they would be paying $22.89 an hour) – they have signed uo to paying whatever figure Rev Waldegrave declares to be the correct one.

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36 Responses to “Wellington ratepayers face another $300,000”

  1. Alan (1,076 comments) says:

    The policy may be crap (in fact it is), but we have a system of representative democracy.

    This council was elected 6 months ago, the people of Wellington knew what they were getting and elected them.

    They aren’t being “forced” into anything. If they didn’t want this, one presumes they’d have elected a different council.

    Nothing to see here apart from democracy in action.

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  2. wreck1080 (3,794 comments) says:

    but the wonky councillor from hamilton is on record for saying the living wage does not cost ratepayers a single cent!!!

    What rubbish.

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  3. tvb (4,240 comments) says:

    It is only ratepayer’s money who cares just pay up. But allowing the good Reverand to set wages policy is outrageous. Let him pay up with any employees and contractors – bet he does not. I have learned better pay does not guarantee better performance they just want more and more for the same performance.

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  4. Elaycee (4,331 comments) says:

    Yup… more fool the good folk of Wellington who re-elected Cecilia Wade-Brown and ‘her’ Council.

    The idea of the ‘living wage’ (as deemed appropriate by Rev Waldergrave et al) was agreed in principle by Wade Brown and the Wellington Council in May 2013. The local body elections were in October. Unfortunately, Wellington voters were apathetic and IIRC, voter turn out was only around 40%.

    This is a lesson that needs to be remembered for the General Election this year. Every vote counts!

    And if poor voter turnout means the lunatics are left holding the keys to the asylum, then the voters only have themselves to blame when the inevitable happens…

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  5. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    DPF

    Set up a “donate to ideology” link on your blog where people who think it’s such a great idea can put their own money toward it !!!!

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  6. dime (9,634 comments) says:

    my god.

    i guess its only 300k.. whats that? the rates from 300 apartments?

    ya have to give it to the left, they are sneaky as shit and the only ones who really participate in local govt. hence, we get this crap.

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  7. labrator (1,840 comments) says:

    Local elections should be null and void unless there is 75% turnout.

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  8. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    This is the outcome when everyone in sundry gets to vote in local body elections. These elections should be the domain of principal ratepayers only, not all the envious, non-productive members of our fragmented society. Until such time as we return to the norm where only those that do hard core paying vote, we will have these left wing leeches screwing the shit out of us to fulfil their useless socialist objectives.

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  9. Bovver (150 comments) says:

    “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” — Margaret Thatcher

    The council had no idea this would happen when they rubber stamped it………..far be it for me to call them a bunch of idiots, others may say that but I couldn’t possibly comment.

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  10. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    This is the direct result of having a Luddite Mayor and a group of left-wing non-entities as councillors.
    All these people believe in wealth redistribution and social inequality (whatever that means).

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  11. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    All landlords who are facing rate increases should put the rent up to cover this. Everybody needs to feel this pinch not just the “rich pricks” – socialism needs to be exposed as the unworkable unsustainable crock of shit it is.

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  12. gravedodger (1,528 comments) says:

    @ igm, there is another solution, levy rates on citizens who are registered to vote under the current system as a Poll Tax.

    Maggie couldn’t make it happen but should it be brought to fruition, at least then there is a definitive link between funder and spender.

    No funding, STFU and leave spending to be controlled by providers of the money.

    Then watch the OPM parties start squealing, Mark Peck first off with his bloody cafe, Wellington’s nomination for Hypocrite of the year (hoty)

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  13. Rick Rowling (823 comments) says:

    A family of four with one earner needs a wage of $18.80/hour – therefore we must give everyone at least that wage.

    Aaaargh, the stupid, it burns!

    Thank Christ we in the satellite cities haven’t amalgamated with Wellington – bugger having to pay for the urban liberals’ ideological socialist sophistry.

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  14. Left Right and Centre (2,868 comments) says:

    *Living wage* = the new minimum wage.

    And when everyone moves onto it, and every other worker demands more cash to compensate – you’re back where you started. $18 will only be worth $14 again. Inflation.

    These people are fucking idiots. It will be great to see the economic theories from the textbooks play out in a real economy.

    If that’s democracy, then democracy sucks some serious shit. Democracy would be getting to vote on an issue if it’s big enough.

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  15. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    You can see the stupidity of the small minded socialists – If the people around me were earning ~$5/hour more they would be fine … Lets legislate it to be so…

    Then they wake up and notice that inflation has jumped and nobody is better off … They will blame everything else but their failed ideology – They are Muppet’s !!!!

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  16. Brian Smaller (4,025 comments) says:

    Then watch the OPM parties start squealing, Mark Peck first off with his bloody cafe, Wellington’s nomination for Hypocrite of the year (hoty)

    I used to eat lunch there every week since he brought the place a few years back until he voted for the ‘Living Wage’. Wont pay his own staff a ‘living wage’ because it is his money and he will go broke or be forced to cut back staff or services. No worries with some other bastard’s money. He lost my regular custom.

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  17. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    So stop paying rates and let the free market sort it out.

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  18. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    UglyTruth

    Is that your response – rather than admit your ideology is a failure ?

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  19. Kimble (4,405 comments) says:

    Why is anyone surprised the Reverend came up with something as stupid as the minimum wage?

    He has a track record of stupid ideas: he believes in God.

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  20. Brian Smaller (4,025 comments) says:

    He has a track record of stupid ideas: he believes in God.

    I thought he was an Anglican. Belief in God is optional for them I think.

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  21. JC (932 comments) says:

    “He has a track record of stupid ideas: he believes in God.”

    Actually he doesn’t. Christianity is big on personal charity, self sufficiency, property rights and justice.. its particularly insistent on “rendering to Caesar” etc, ie the separation of responsibilities.

    Waldegrave is thus well outside the Christian mainstream and acting more like a Soviet era Communist.

    JC

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  22. RRM (9,630 comments) says:

    Don’t worry Celia, someone else will end up paying for this.

    I guess if it gets really bad, they could always commission another external report into why they were totally ignorant as this latest policy turned to shit…? WCC Councillors seem to be able to do that with a straight face…

    (Executive summary: Because their air-head dumbfucks who’ve graduated there from smelly roadside protest politics!)

    Enjoy the council you voted for, Wellington! SO glad I don’t live there anymore!

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  23. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    RRM

    That’s the crux of the issue – it’s not the council people voted for – like all good socialists they reveal their true agenda after they get voted in.

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  24. RRM (9,630 comments) says:

    Burt –

    Remember, Incompetent Wade-Fuckwit was re-elected AFTER the “asleep at the wheel” thing where they commissioned a report to tell them why they didn’t know about council staff outsourcing..

    [I could have written that report much cheaper, telling them it was THEIR JOB TO KNOW ABOUT WCC OPERATIONS, and they are therefore grossly incompetent and should resign immediately, and should probably slap themselves on the back of the head on their way out the door.]

    But it’s “cool” to be “green” – so everybody voted them back in..

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  25. gravedodger (1,528 comments) says:

    @ Kimble 11 03, his beliefs are his to own, its the blatant opinionated dream that because he has reached an exulted position in the world of his beliefs, he now thinks it translates to a larger pulpit.
    As a Witch Dr he has zero credibility to the educated masses.

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  26. CHFR (219 comments) says:

    RRM as much as it pains me to say it ( as a resident of Wellington) you are correct on the cool to be Green thing.

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  27. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    What is wrong with Wellingtonians? They elect weirdos, and thieves as MPs, and fiscally moronic mayors.

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  28. alwyn (399 comments) says:

    Don’t worry people. The amount of money being wasted here, without any detailed evaluation, is only a tiny part of the costs our fuzzy-minded council is planning to impose on the ratepayers.
    The proposed cycle routes will make it seem totally inconsequential by comparison. One route alone, from Island Bay to the CDB, is already over $10 million and there are a lot of routes being planned. Still, the Green Party Mayor lives in Island Bay and she might, on a fine day, want to ride to work.
    Is anyone aware whether a cost-benefit study has been done for these cycle-ways or is that only considered necessary if we are building something that the Green Taliban disapprove of?

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  29. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    The operating budget is nearly $400M pa, and the cost of taking 400 employees to the living wage is $332,000.

    That is less than .1%.

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  30. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    As to the council owned organisations and those on contract, has anyone seen those numbers?

    The case for relativity for other council workers can be dismissed as the wage of those on higher than the LW are in positions related to those in the private sector/market where the LW is not being introduced (except voluntarily).

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  31. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Why is relativity only raised as a cost issue when the low paid get an increase, do councillors or execs seeking or receiving a pay increase ever consider maintaining pay relativity to those of their staff who would then receive a lower relative wage?

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  32. OneTrack (2,777 comments) says:

    “What is wrong with Wellingtonians? They elect weirdos, and thieves as MPs.,,,,”

    Auckland is no better. We have got Len, his white elephant railway to nowhere, and now he wants a cycle track over the harbour bridge. Hasn’t anybody told him the ferries take bikes?

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  33. OneTrack (2,777 comments) says:

    spc – “That is less than .1%.”

    So, the thrust of your argument is, they already wasting so much money, more wont hurt? Tell that to the private sector ratepayer on the minimum wage.

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  34. johnwellingtonwells (131 comments) says:

    One Track – Should it not be len’s view that fairies take bikes?

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  35. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    One Track, do you know anyone on the MW who owns a house?

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  36. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Yeah Yeah

    Get a real job and do some real work

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