The Christchurch Methodist Mission is now accredited as a Living Wage Employer.
Jill Hawkey, Christchurch Methodist Mission (CMM) Executive Director, says the organisation believes that workers should live with dignity and participate as active citizens in society. “By adopting the Living Wage rate, we are realizing this vision and ensuring that work can be a pathway out of poverty for employees and that they are treated with care and respect.”
One of the South Island’s leading social service organisations, CMM works across the age spectrum and employs 288 staff in Christchurch, Blenheim, Nelson and West Coast. WesleyCare rest home and hospital in Papanui is CMM’s largest division, with around 150 healthcare and household staff.
“I’m proud that CMM has become a Living Wage employer. Over the past few years our leadership and governance teams have worked hard to ensure that all of CMM’s employees and service providers are adequately compensated for their work, and that they work in a safe and rewarding environment,” says Jill.
While staff across the organisation are now benefiting from the Living Wage rate, Jill says that it is at WesleyCare where this change will have the biggest impact. “In New Zealand’s aged care sector, healthcare assistants and household staff provide vital services but generally do not receive the financial recognition they deserve. For them particularly, the higher wage rate means a lot.
“This accreditation is recognition that we are investing in our workers, which is good not only for them but also for their families and the broader economy. Supporting them in this way is a significant step in achieving our vision of a just and inclusive society in which all people flourish.”
Gina Lockyer, the Living Wage Movement’s Executive Director, congratulated CMM on becoming a Living Wage Employer, saying: “Paying the Living Wage gives workers more financial security, leading to better wellbeing. Employees feel happier at work, and at home. In a service like CMM, this will have a ripple effect on their communities and every person they serve.”
To be an accredited Living Wage Employer, the minimum wages for direct employees, contract employees and contractors must be at least $26.00/hour (2023/4). This pay rate has been calculated independently by the Family Centre for Social Policy Research Unit as necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life.