by Greta Yeoman
A group of South Canterbury living wage advocates is set to hold a public meeting on the topic this weekend.
A meeting about the living wage will be held at the Savage Club Hall, at 16 Dee St, Timaru, from 2pm on Sunday.
It will be hosted by the recently established South Canterbury Living Wage Now network, which includes Anglican Care South Canterbury social justice co-ordinator Ruth Swale and Waimate-based Anglican Archdeacon Indrea Alexander.
The living wage is announced on April 1 each year and accredited living wage businesses and organisations adjust their pay rates on September 1.
Despite the Government increasing the minimum wage to $17.70 earlier this year, it is still several dollars lower than this year’s living wage of $21.15.
Ms Swale said there had been attempts to start a living wage group several years ago, but other commitments had got in the way.
Now, however, there was a strong small group of supporters who were keen to introduce the scheme into the public conversation, particularly before the local government elections in October.
At present, only the Wellington and Dunedin City Councils pay their staff and contractors at least the living wage.
The Christchurch City Council announced it would pay its staff the living wage in 2017, but this did not include employees at council-owned organisations.
The Dunedin City Council was declared an accredited living wage employer this week.