Public sector pay restrictions are unacceptable

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Government’s decision to restrict the wages of many essential public sector workers for another two years does a disservice to those who have kept our communities safe during COVID-19, the Green Party said today.

“Our essential workers in the public service have been keeping us all safe during a global pandemic by working long hours and being under a huge amount of stress,” says Green Party spokesperson for Public Services Jan Logie.

“These are the people on our front-lines at the border, teaching our kids as best they can during times of huge stress, staffing our world class public health system and keeping our small businesses afloat. They are all such an important part of our successful response to COVID-19, and should be acknowledged for that.

“We know people are struggling with rising rents and house prices, and the Government is choosing to ignore our essential workers by suppressing their wages, all for the sake of the bottom line.

“The Green Party supports prioritising wage increases for those earning under $60,000pa but this shouldn’t be a zero sum game.

“It’s a double blow that the Government is trumpeting its better-than-expected financial position, while freezing the pay of those who keep our essential public services going, like social workers, and people who work in public health.

“These pay restrictions are unacceptable. The cost of living is not freezing, and neither should wages.”

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