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It is time for a living wage

30 August 2012:

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) took part in the Living Wage campaign launch in Wellington today.

Attendees at the launch heard from workers who slave all hours and still don’t make enough to pay the bills. The minimum wage is not enough. As Dr Don Matheson said at the launch, “The minimum wage is a dying wage and it is morally and ethically unacceptable. We need a living wage.”

NZNO researcher and policy adviser, Dr Jill Clendon says, “Dr Matheson was talking in relation to the effects of poverty on health. The social determinants of health prove that poverty is the root cause of much ill health and inequality in this country.”

“Those who are struggling to survive on incredibly low wages are also the people who face barriers to accessing health care, education and other social services when and where they need them.”

“NZNO advocates for fair pay and safe working conditions for all its members, including those who work in the residential aged care sector. Aged care workers are some of the most vulnerable workers in our society. It is shameful that the skilled work they perform with love and respect is often paid at the minimum wage rate of $13.50 an hour.”

“Supporting the Living wage Campaign is part of a nationwide push to redress the problem of poverty and everything that stems from it,” Clendon says.

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