Waikato support workers to strike over "insulting" pay offer


More than 200 specialist support workers across Waikato will stop work for two hours on Thursday, in protest at a pay offer that would buy them just a bottle of milk a week.

Workers at Community Living Trust will stop work after rejecting a pay increase of 9 cents an hour.

The PSA and E Tu will attend mediation with the employer today in the hope of securing a better offer.

"Our members work in residential homes, caring for people with intellectual disabilities," PSA organiser Frank Jackson says.

"It’s demanding work and most are paid at or near the minimum wage.

"This pay increase is lower than settlements reached with other providers, and it’d add up to just $3.60 a week for a full-time worker, which would buy them a 2-litre bottle of milk.

"That’s an insult to our members and the crucial work they do."

Mr Jackson says for the year ended June 2015, Community Living Trust’s operating surplus was up 70% - so there’s money available for a fairer offer.

"Our members love their jobs but they also have families to support.

"They respect and support their clients, and want their employers to respect and support them.

"They have never taken industrial action before, but after many meetings with the employer they feel they have no choice.

"We call on Community Living Trust to do the right thing - and offer our members a decent pay rise."