Living Wage for Learning events to call for a fair go

28/03/2014

Community events in Auckland and Wellington tomorrow will call for a Living Wage and a halt to the growing inequity in our schools and society.

Participants will be calling on the Government to stop ignoring poverty and the effect it is having on the education and future prospects of thousands of children.

Research shows that child poverty and social inequality are the biggest hurdles to children succeeding at school. 

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said all children deserved the opportunity to thrive and reach their potential, but they couldn’t do that on an empty stomach or living in a cold, unhealthy house, no matter how fantastic their teacher was.

Low pay is also an issue within the education workforce.

“It is ironic that the government is prepared to put $359 million into an untried ‘incentive bonus’ scheme for some principals and teachers yet will not pay a fair wage for the support staff directly helping kids who are struggling,” said Ms Nowotarski.

“Support staff are doing a very important job, but 45 per cent are not receiving the Living Wage of $18.80 per hour. That’s not acceptable, and it’s also not acceptable that parents can work two jobs and still struggle to provide adequately for their families. 

“A living wage is a good thing for all New Zealanders, not just those at the bottom of the economic heap. As a society we can’t afford to have a generation of children and families left behind. If they can’t reach their potential, our nation can’t reach its potential.” 

Supporters are invited to join the Living Wage for Learning events. In Wellington supporters will gather in the grounds of Parliament at 1pm for a community event while in Auckland they will gather at Queen Elizabeth Square at 11.00 am and march to Aotea Square.

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