Government promises pay rise to Parliament's cleaners and cooks

Parliament's cleaning and catering staff have been given an early Christmas present by the new Government - a promise they'll be paid the living wage.

For decades, hard-working public servants have been paid peanuts to shine Parliament's granite floors, polish its wooden interiors and scrub its toilets.

Over time, they will incrementally have their hourly wage increased to $20.20, up from the current rate, which is only just above the minimum wage of $15.75.

The rate of $20.20 is dubbed the 'living wage' by fair pay lobbyists as it provides workers and families with enough income to live with dignity and cover all basic expenses.  

The move was announced at Parliament by by Ministers and members of the E Tū union, as well as a handful of cleaners who'll benefit.

For years, Parliament's cleaners and caters have been asking to be paid fairly, with a campaign in 2011 calling for an end to what they called "poverty wages".