Today marks the beginning of Unite's Campaign for a Living Wage to get an immediate raise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The first part of the campaign is to collect over 300,000 signatures within 12 months on our Citizen's Initiated Referendum Petition. After the petition has been presented to Parliament every voter in New Zealand will get the chance to vote in a referendum. Unite's Supersizemypay campaign successfully saw the elimination of youth rates and substantial rises in the minimum wage. We can do it again!
The referendum question is:
"Should the adult minimum wage be raised in steps over the next three years, starting with an immediate rise to $15 per hour, until it reaches 66% of the average total hourly earnings as defined in the Quarterly Employment Survey?"
The current adult minimum wage is $12.50 an hour - $500 a week. We believe that an adult in a full time job should have a reasonable standard of living without getting into debt or relying on charity or income support. $15 an hour - $600 a week - is a good start.
Unlike superannuation or benefits the minimum wage is not automatically increased each year. By making it 66% of the average wage (the same as the married rate for superannuation) it will keep the lowest paid New Zealand workers out of poverty.
Join the Campaign for Living Wage
Sign up for the campaign newsletter here
You can download the petition form here.
You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to view the form. If you do not have Acrobat you can download it for free by clicking here
There are some simple rules for people signing the form:
1. They must be enrolled to vote on 7th May 2010 when the petition closes.
(only those over 18 years old can be enrolled).
2. They must put their signature on the form.
3. Their name and address must be able to be read clearly.
4. Don't put other comments on the form.
We are asking people to give us their phone and email contact details so we can keep them informed about our campaigns - but this is optional.
Simply return the petition to the freepost address on the form. It doesn't need to be filled up to send back - but the more the better.