Trade unions have thrown their support behind the Green
Party workers policy announced yesterday, building on Labour's
bid to get unions back into workplaces.
But the policy is sure to be opposed by businesses, as the
Greens would require companies to disclose chief executive
salaries more clearly and provide detailed rationale for
their pay decisions.
The Greens would also legislate for a staff member to sit on
the committees setting executive pay.
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly issued a press
release headed ''Greens workers policy supported by the union
The policy showed the Greens' commitment to collective
bargaining as the best and fairest way to improve workers
terms and conditions.
''It is great the Greens see real value in the work union
members do through their collective action and engagement,''
The major points of the Green policy are.- Lifting low wages
by moving the minimum wage to $18 an hour by 2017 and
introducing a living wage for the core government sector. A
new legislative minimum redundancy package of four weeks'
pay. Bringing top pay back into line, requiring companies to
report on the gap between top and bottom pay. Measures to
boost bargaining power and make workplaces safer and more
Green co-leader Metiria Turei said the minimum wage would
raise pay packets for half a million New Zealanders within
A single person on the minimum wage would have $125 a week,
or $6400 a year, more in the pocket under the policy.
A typical low-paid two-adult, two-child family would have $60
a week, or $3300, a year more because of the living wage,
even after Working for Families abatements were taken into
''Employers will benefit from our policy, as staff who are
paid fairly work harder and are more productive.''
Buried in the detail of the policy was the Greens requiring
all New Zealand's large publicly-listed companies to report
on the pay ratio between their highest paid staff member and
their middle and lowest paid workers.
Labour Minister Simon Bridges said a Labour-Green coalition
would mean less flexibility, fewer jobs and more roadblocks
for businesses wanting to invest in growth.
Increasing the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, then to
$18, would cost thousands of jobs, especially in small
businesses and across regional New Zealand.
''They would scrap the starting-out wage which would mean
young people would be given less opportunity to get a foot in
the door and gain the essential experience they need.''