IDEA support staff vote to walk off job

Support workers employed by IDEA Services, the operational arm of IHC, have voted to strike after Easter in protest at a lack of progress in their pay talks.

E tū advocate Alastair Duncan says the vote, by more than 1500 union members, was overwhelmingly in favour with 98% voting by secret ballot to strike.

“Support workers at IDEA do a caring and professional job of supporting New Zealanders with intellectual disabilities. Sadly, they have had little support from their employer.

“For six months, we have been asking IDEA to make a series of modest changes to the collective agreement around issues of job security, consultation and health and safety.

“Not only has IDEA yet to make a single substantive offer; they have so far refused to consider any pay rise whatsoever.”

Alastair says the vote saw record turnouts across the country.

“This is a workforce of long serving, hardworking and caring staff who must work long hours to make a modest income.

“Protecting hours of work and ensuring the voice of the workforce is respected when it comes to health and safety are basic workplace rights.

“Sadly, IDEA has failed to give staff the assurances or the respect they have been asking for.”

The strike comes as IDEA announces it is exiting some services with as many as 800 staff affected.

Details of the strike will be released next week.

ENDS

For more information contact:

 Alastair Duncan E tū Industry Coordinator, Care and Support Services Ph. 027 2456 593 or alastair.duncan@etu.nz