Access urged to reconsider offer as four-day strike commences

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PSA and E tū members at Access Community Health have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking further industrial action after talks to reach a fair increase in pay as part of a new collective agreement stalled, over a month since members first took to the streets for better pay.

The latest round of industrial action will commence on Friday 21 June across the country, with sites withdrawing from work for up to four days from Friday 21 June until Monday 24 June.

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

“Our members are beyond frustrated by Access’ 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.”