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Disability support workers call strike

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/04/2017

Workers from intellectual disabilities services provider IHC New Zealand's operational branch have voted to strike after pay negotiations stalled.

Union E tu says 98 per cent of its 1500 members working for IDEA Services have backed taking industrial action after Easter.

Workers and the union have been unable to get IDEA to even consider a pay rise in half a year of talks, union advocate Alastair Duncan says.

"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," he said.

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

The strike action comes just weeks after IDEA announced services cuts, which are expected to affect about 5 per cent of staff.

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

Details of the strike are expected to be released following a planned meeting next week.

Comment has been requested from IHC.

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