IDEA Services support workers will begin voting today on possible strike action.
E tū advocate, Alastair Duncan says the vote, by more than 3000 support workers, will be held at 80 stop work meetings around the country over the next two weeks.
He says this follows five months of frustrating negotiations.
“This is an unusual move by a group of workers who go out of their way to help people with intellectual disabilities lead the best possible lives,’ says Alastair.
“But IDEA Services has made no pay offer at all. Pressure is building over constant reviews and roster changes but IDEA won’t agree to decent job protection.
“Five months on, IDEA has also yet to respond to our health and safety proposals.”
Alastair says members are also angry about ongoing delays to settling their equal pay claim.
“This strike vote is a measure of the anger and frustration they are feeling about IDEA’s stonewalling.”
Alastair Duncan says IDEA support and admin workers are paid about $17 - $18 an hour - less than the Living Wage.
“There comes a time when even the most caring worker needs to say ‘enough’ and we are at that point.”
Alastair says the high number of meetings is designed to minimise the impact on clients and service users during the stop work meetings.
While the union is critical of government funding that has restricted IDEA’s operations, it does not accept that IDEA cannot make an offer to settle the dispute.
“Wages are important but so is job security. IDEA has fallen short on all fronts,” says Alastair.
Results of the strike ballot are expected by the 31st March.
For more information, contact:
Alastair Duncan E tū advocate ph. 0272456 593