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Well what a laugh! I cannot remember ratepayers being consulted when they debated their proposed pay packets in November. Some of them had to take a pay drop when they voted to cut extra pay for roles on CCO boards. Mind you, the lowest paid 7 only get $80,490, 2 get $83,101, 3 $89,101 and the Deputy $99,580 and the Mayor $158,300….. Not to be sneezed at for a “part time” job, not forgetting long holiday breaks and free car parking and most of them have another income.
Only 13 voted. Who were the two that didnt?
Since when did the council become a social welfare organisation? The far reaching impact of this action by council has not been determined yet it voted to proceed with a Living Wage. Will this pay rise increase productivity? What has council undertaken to reduce 30% labour turnover? The question remains whether councillors will reject the pay increase passed onto them annually by the Remuneration Authority. Any one willing to wager?
Esjay: what a confused comment. Not sure what the ‘social welfare organisation’ comment refers to as of course it is – just ask the business sector beneficiaries like Willis Bond, Prime Properties, Infratil etc. along with the less demanding, like those who are in need of social housing. As well as that, most reasonable ratepayers expect the WCC to be a responsible employer that more fairly remunerates its lowest paid staff. As for your other dog-whistle points from the Chamber of Commerce songsheet, one can observe that there is no problem keeping highly paid executive staff – they even have to be bought out to shift them on. It therefore stands to reason that the lowest paid will have an incentive to stay on and improve their skills if they don’t have to work additional jobs to feed themselves and their families. On the matter of councillors’ remuneration, the moderate to lucrative perks were done away with last year. Notably, the Mayor doesn’t pocket the additional $45 000 or so per year that the former Mayor and Deputy Mayor used to get as Board Members of WIAL.
CC: “The Living Wage” has been a political mandate of the Mayor. No public consultation process has been entered into. The flow-on effect on parity to other council employees has not been investigated, in fact Cnr Andy Foster speculated on ZB talkback that the overall cost could well reach the $4 million mark. So why has the pay increase been rushed without due process? No, I’m not referring to councillor perks. It’s the Remuneration Authority who make recommendations for councillors’ pay increase, who in turn inevitably approve it. The Mayor, as a Director of WIAL, has publicly stated that she can advocate for the runway extension, but cannot vote on it during council process. Surely this is a conflict of interest regardless of how her director’s fees are absorbed.
Esjay: Sounds like you suffer from “parasite syndrome”, the affliction of the well off who want cheap rates based on subsidies accrued by underpaying the worker ants of our city. Quoting the unqualified speculation of Andy Foster, and assuming the low waged should have their pay rates determined in consultation with you, also indicates a lack of common sense and an over-inflated sense of self-importance. If the knife is to be taken to anything, then Council should look at the covert subsidies that go to the CCOs and the private sector and the highly-inflated executive salaries which do not seem to fall within your “accountability” criteria. These far exceed the relatively small cost of small wage increases for those who unquestionably earn them.
CC: Perhaps your pocket has a limitless bottom. It may be an idea for you to study the proposals of the Draft Annual Plan and note how the “good ideas” have been incorporated into the proposed rate increase of 2.5%. Then of course there is the expenditure for “leaky home” syndrome. And who can leave out the expenditure for earthquake proofing, the sum of which is only an estimate. If the council has its way, then an estimated $200 million might well lower the level of your pocket even further for the proposed airport runway extension. In the meantime, the city’s stormwater and sewage systems continue to decay as no on can see them.
By the way, each of us has to work for a living. If we do not enjoy the rate of pay or conditions, we look elsewhere.
Esjay: your last comment has what to do with paying a living wage, one that enables families to do marginally more than just survive???
Councils can pay people more, but dressing it up as a ‘living wage’ is a joke. Have you ever heard of dead people on a non-living wage? Obviously not, but CWB wants to be Welly’s Santa handing out ratepayers’ money to abide by social standards that have no official recognition.
WCC should stick to what it is supposed to be doing. Running core services as cost-effectively and efficiently as it can. Let Central Govt determine the wage thresholds that councils and businesses need to abide by.
Thanks to WCC, I’ll now have less money in my pocket to spend in cafes and shops to keep people employed.
Albert – if you can buy a cup of coffee a week for less than the rates increase to enable a ‘living wage’ council employee to contemplate going out for one coffee a month, you would be damned lucky. My guess is that the employee would still stay home as the likely increase in energy charges this month would preclude their indulgence in such luxury. Anyway, chances are that you will get a parking ticket from a new council employed parking warden. That would cost you many times the cost of your coffee. Better still, the wage increase will have been ‘earned’ as the fine would not have had the triple-dip ticket clipping that went on when the service was contracted out – negative rates increase eh?
CC – My new year resolution, already partly implemented, is to invest in a bottle of instant coffee and make my own at 11am and talk to my cat for ten minutes. I’m not going to hobble into the Wellington CBD for $4+ flat white anymore as I can save up to $20 a week and $1,000 a year with my own cup of instant and this should cover CWB’s ‘living wage’ bill, the $1 million dollars for the airport runway business case, and the blah … And I never park in Wellington since my 1972 Rover 3.5litre got towed with my distressed Labrador sitting on the back seat.
I’m switching to Mercury as they have promised to cut my ‘leccy’ bill for 18 months.
Scrimping and saving … it’s a battle to keep on living in Welly for us forgotten citizens.
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