Mayoral candidate and Labour MP Phil Goff today announced his commitment to introducing a living wage for Auckland Council staff.
He said the initiative should be funded out of savings from cutting waste and duplication from council, not by increasing rates.
"I support a living wage for Auckland Council staff. Too many people in Auckland are working hard but living in poverty because their wages don't cover the cost of living," said Goff, who is attending today's Living Wage People's Assembly at St Matthew-in-the City.
This ought to be a priority ahead of salary increases for senior staff earning higher incomes
Mayor Len Brown made the living wage one of his top 10 priorities at the 2013 local body election, but lost a vote on the issue and dropped the matter.
Goff said he was aiming to cut fat and save tens of millions of dollars.
"One of the beneficiaries of those savings should be council staff who are currently paid less than a living wage [currently $19.80].
"This ought to be a priority ahead of salary increases for senior staff earning higher incomes.
"I expect that more councillors will support this policy if it is contingent on being funded out of efficiency savings and it is restricted to staff directly employed by the council," said Goff.
"Other councils and a number of progressive private sector employers are already committed to paying their staff a living wage. Auckland Council too should lead by example. Its obligations as a good employer should include paying people a wage that at least meets the basic cost of living."