There’s more going on in Parliament than Trevor’s canny cornering of the government today and the hilarious debate that followed. These things keep us amused, but I was just as happy to hear that Jaine Ikurere, who cleans John Key’s office is to get a payrise.
Thanks to the hard work of her union and the cleaners’ staunch support, Jaine’s pay will go up by 50 cents an hour to $13.10. It’s not the $14.62 that other cleaners get in the public sector, but there is provision for that to occur, should the client fund it.
The client, in Jaine’s case, is Parliamentary Services. That’s why Labour MPs wrote to the Speaker a few weeks ago. He’s the Minister in charge of Parliamentary Services and we want the budget for cleaning our offices to be increased by the small amount necessary to enable the contractor to pay them more.
We got the expected response. Very sympathetic, but the bargaining is between the union and the employer. The Speaker is not the employer and can’t get involved in negotiations. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But the government can put more money into the parliamentary services budget and ring-fence it to fund a decent pay jolt for the lowest paid – just as Labour did for Hospital service workers and School Cleaners.
I’m pleased Jaine got a pay increase. She did it with her workmates and her union.
Now for the next $1.52 an hour.