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    Default Minimum wage rise expected

    Minimum wage rise expected
    4:00AM Monday Feb 09, 2009

    The Government is today expected to announce an increase in the adult minimum wage of $12, possibly by around 40c.

    The previous Labour-led Government increased the minimum adult wage every year over its nine years in office - from $7 to $12.

    A large increase is not expected today because of the added pressure it could put on smaller businesses in the economic crisis.

    From here.
    Mother Bear

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    Default And the result...

    Minimum wage rises 50c in line with prices
    4:00AM Tuesday Feb 10, 2009
    By Simon Collins

    About 120,000 workers on New Zealand's lowest wages will get a pay rise of 50c an hour on April 1.

    The increase from $12 to $12.50 announced by Prime Minister John Key yesterday is the smallest annual rise in the minimum wage since 2005.

    The Unite union, which represents many minimum-wage workers in fast food and other services, chose the same day to lodge a request for a citizens-initiated referendum on whether the minimum should be raised to $15 an hour, and then to two-thirds of the average wage within three years.

    But Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly said even a 50c increase would have an effect on employment when recession-hit employers are already struggling.

    "Having said that, the Government's decision is pragmatic," he said. "I'm a realist, and it's certainly not as bad as it could have been."

    A spokesman for Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said the Labour Department gave the Government three options: keep the minimum at $12 an hour, raise it to $12.50 in line with prices, or raise it to $12.65 in line with the average wage.

    More here.
    Mother Bear

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