Category: Community Support

IDEA strike on Sunday: info for members

Dear IDEA members,

Despite another full day of mediation on Thursday 20 June, IDEA failed to make an offer to settle your collective so Sunday’s strike starting at 9.00 am and continuing for 24 hours is on.

On Tuesday 25 June we’re going to the Employment Relations Authority to argue the case that IDEA has breached the law and to see a formal “facilitation”. Your strike action is a key part of winning that hearing as it is one of the criteria that can force a decision.

We expect IDEA to try and undercut that process by making a late offer over the weekend. We are pretty sure they will continue to push their attempt to make you even more “flexible” and are confident any offer will NOT address the need to value Senior Support staff or restore the weekend rates they took off staff many  years ago. 

At the mediation it did seem they might be ready to back down on their attempt to cut the health and safety rights at work. We put that down to the action and support shown by members to date. So don’t stop now.

Click here for details about your local picket.

Full membership meetings are being planned for July, so keep an eye out for those details which will be sent to you and published on the website.

Access workers begin four-day strike

PSA and E tū members at Access Community Health have voted overwhelmingly in favour of further industrial action after their latest pay talks stalled – more than a month after members first took to the streets for better pay.

The latest round of industrial action begins today across the country, with members on strike for up to four days from today, Friday 21 June until Monday 24 June.

Access Community Health coordinators, administrators, and call centre workers held a week of partial strikes and walkouts in mid-May, with further action in early June after efforts to negotiate a new pay deal failed.

“Our members are beyond frustrated by Access’s ongoing refusal to lift the wages of those who are some of their lowest paid workers,” says Melissa Woolley, PSA assistant national secretary.

“In one month of bargaining, Access have used bullying and intimidation tactics, undermined the bargaining process, and have made offers that would see disproportionate rates of increase between members.”

“Attempts to divide and silence our members have only made them more determined not to back down, as seen by our members continuing to vote overwhelmingly in favour of taking action and by an increase in membership since industrial action began in May.”

“We urge Access to come back to the bargaining table and offer a better deal for these workers,” says E tū Home Support coordinator Kirsty McCully.

“It’s time for Access to recognise these workers as the glue that holds Home Support together in New Zealand. Access’s failure to give their workers a fair increase is disrespectful to both the members, and to Access service users.”

ENDS

Member action:

Access coordination staff in Whangarei will be gathering with supporters in the Whangarei Town Centre to distribute information to the local community at 11am today, Friday 21 June.

For further information, contact:

Kirsty McCully E tū Home Support Coordinator ph: 027 204 6354

For any local Whangarei media interviews and information please contact Moana Witehira E tū organiser ph: 027 204 6367

24-hour strike at IDEA services after mediation fails

A 24-hour strike by E tū care and support workers employed by IDEA Services will go ahead on Sunday after eight day of failed mediation talks.

The workers will walk off the job at 9am on Sunday, returning to work at 9am on Monday.

Three thousand members are affected by the dispute which has been running for eight months and has seen six previous strikes including last Sunday’s 12-hour stoppage.

The members are seeking extra pay for senior support workers, weekend penal rates and the protection of key health and safety rights. They are also resisting IDEA Services demands for more flexibility over their rosters.

“Despite another full day of mediation on Thursday 20th June, IDEA failed to make any offer to settle, so Sunday’s strike is on”, says E tū advocate Alastair Duncan.

Alastair says the strike will affect up to 600 residential homes with many unionised workers “having a well-deserved and rare Sunday off to spend with loved ones,” he says.

There will also be pickets around the country to inform the public about their concerns –

particularly IDEA Service’s insistence on being allowed to roster workers anywhere, anytime.

“Under the guise of so called “flexibility” IDEA wants to undermine the job security of the very staff who support vulnerable New Zealanders,” says Alastair.

Alastair says penal rates for weekend remains a key claim.

“IDEA’s parent company IHC took away weekend rates during the dreadful days after the Employment Contracts Act became law. It is now time to once again respect the fact that weekend work deserves an extra pay margin.”

In an effort to break the deadlock, E tū has also applied for a formal facilitation hearing by the Employment Relations Authority, which is due to be heard on Tuesday.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Alastair Duncan E tū advocate ph. 027 245 6593

IDEA Services dispute escalates: 12-hour strike Sunday

A 12 hour strike this Sunday by care and support workers at IDEA Services will go ahead after two days of failed mediation this week.

The workers will be striking from 8.30am to 8.30pm.

Three thousand E tū members are affected by the dispute which has been running for eight months and has seen five previous strikes.

E tū union advocate Alastair Duncan says the 12-hour stoppage signals an escalation of strike action.

“To date we have held a series of one-hour stoppages in an effort to convince IDEA of the need to seriously respond to staff concerns around health and safety, workloads and job security,” says Alastair.

“At IDEA’s request we attended additional mediation this week only to find the employer had little constructive to add and only wanted to deal with ‘hypothetical’ bargaining scenarios, with no firm pay offers.”

The union has applied for a formal facilitation process, arguing the bargaining has become protracted and the employer has shown bad faith.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Alastair Duncan E tū Industry Coordinator ph. 027 245 6593

Strike five Friday for E tū IDEA Services members

Workers supporting New Zealanders with intellectual disabilities at IDEA Services will strike again tomorrow for one hour from 8.30am in support of their employment agreement negotiations.

The nationwide strike will be the fifth in two months and follows a bid by IDEA Services, the operational arm of IHC, to cut working conditions.

E tū advocate, Alastair Duncan says the union represents nearly 3000 workers and the strike reflects their determination to prevent IDEA Services undermining crucial health and safety rights.

He says the union has applied for facilitation to help settle the dispute, “but IDEA is resisting the application,” he says.

He says members have appealed to the IDEA Services board for a meeting “but despite repeated requests over seven months to sit down and talk, board member and the Chief Executive have refused to meet with us.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Alastair Duncan E tū advocate ph. 027 245 6593

Frustrated Access members vote for action over offer

Access Community Health coordinators, administrators, and call centre workers have voted to take further industrial action this Friday after efforts to negotiate a new pay deal failed.

The PSA and E tū bargaining team attended mediation last Thursday in the hopes of securing a better offer.

However PSA Assistant National Secretary, Melissa Woolley, says a fresh offer to lift pay for many members by only 50 cents an hour left members unimpressed.

“The mediation last week showed us that Access is beginning to listen to our members, but a lack of significant movement on pay has only served to strengthen our members’ resolve. They still feel undervalued by their employer,” says Ms Woolley.

“As a result, members voted overwhelmingly to reject the offer and to take further action instead.”

The industrial action this Friday will include a nationwide walk-out from 1:00pm until close of business, as well as picketing at select offices around the country, including a picket from 1:00-3:00pm outside the Access head office in Petone.

“This strike action is not being taken lightly,” says E tū Home Support coordinator Kirsty McCully.

“It is a last resort for our increasingly frustrated members, and we urge Access to return to the bargaining table with a fair and respectful pay offer.

“Knowing the money is there but that Access simply doesn’t want to give their workers a fair increase is insulting to both the members and Access service users.”

IDEA strike four – info for members

Why Friday’s strike at IDEA is going ahead

Dear members,

Last Friday, we held our eighth day of bargaining with IDEA. The good news is management didn’t walk out like they did last time and we were able to present them with nearly 700 personalised messages from members (the ‘wanted’ posters) to go the Board. Since neither the Board nor CEO Ralph Jones agreed to come to the meeting, we have provided copies for them to read. The bad news is they are still insisting on being able to force staff to move between services and facilities and slash health and safety rights.

As a result, we have started legal proceedings in the Employment Relations Authority to seek a formal facilitation hearing. This is a legal process that can test the employer position but to be successful in our application, Friday’s 8.30 – 9.30 strike must go ahead.

Your strike action is a critical part of our application. We’ve also said IDEA has seriously undermined the bargaining by making false statements about members (the letters from Ralph Jones which you may have seen).

It’s good to remember that the vote for action as over was overwhelmingly endorsed and that further strikes are planned for an hour from 8.30 on Friday 7th with a 12-hour strike on the weekend of the 16th and a 24-hour strike on the following weekend – if needed.

Taking a one-hour strike this and next Friday is your legal right and makes our application to the Authority all the more likely to succeed. It also shows you are serious about protecting your current rights. Members who don’t take part risk undermining that process.

Members are also  reminded of the union negotiated equal pay rise due on 1 July  with increase of 80 cents to $1 an hour. Taking action does not affect that increase.

Remember, IDEA’s attempts to your current slash health and safety rights and force so called ‘flexibility’ cannot be imposed on any member without your consent, so Friday’s action shows we are serious.

This week, 50,0000 teachers took nationwide action in support of their workplace rights, so we are in good company!

For more information contact E tū Union support on 0800 1 UNION.

Strike four Friday for E tū IDEA Services members

Workers supporting New Zealanders with intellectual disabilities at IDEA Services will strike tomorrow for one hour from 8.30am in support of their employment agreement negotiations.

The nationwide strike will be the fourth in the past two months and follows a bid by IDEA Services, the operational arm of IHC, to cut working conditions.

E tū advocate, Alastair Duncan says the union represents nearly 3000 workers and the one-hour strike is intended to show the determination of staff to prevent IDEA undermining crucial health and safety rights.

“This will be the fourth strike since April and is a direct result of a management that is not listening,” says Alastair.

Last week the union delivered 700 personalised messages from care staff asking the Board to talk with staff.

“For seven months we have repeatedly asked IDEA Services decision makers to sit down and talk but to date the Board and Chief Executive have refused to meet with us.”

E tū has asked the Employment Relations Authority for urgent facilitation citing protracted negotiations, bad faith and strike action as reasons to bring the parties together.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Alastair Duncan E tū advocate ph. 027 245 6593

Strike three at IDEA – and we’re out

When IDEA management walked out of mediation last week they left us with no option but to go ahead with l Monday’s strike from 3.30 to 4.30.

We had hoped they would have stayed and negotiated but they didn’t.  So now members are on strike again for one hour –  this Monday 20th  3.30 to 4.30

Monday’s strike will be the third over the last two months and there is further strike set for Friday  31st May from 8.30 am to  9.30 am.

We’ve already agreed to attend mediation before the 31st ,  but don’t yet know if IDEA will turn up, or how long they’ll stay.

PS This weekend KFC Carls Jnr and Pizza Hutt workers are on strike – so please get your takeaways somewhere else!

For more information contact 0800 1 UNION 0800186466