The Service & Food Workers Union says the latest increase to the minimum wage is still not enough for people to live on.
The Government on Wednesday announced the minimum wage would go up by 50 cents per hour to $13.50 on 1 April.
But the union says that is not a living wage and wants something radical done to boost wages.
National secretary John Ryall suggests bringing back something similar to the awards system in Australia, where pay rates for particular sectors are set by a tribunal.
However, the Employers & Manufacturers Association says an awards system won't lift wages and what New Zealand needs is increased productivity.
Chief executive Kim Campbell accepts $13.50 per hour is difficult to live on.
But he says any bigger increase, up to $15 as called for by opposition parties, would have adverse effects.