Waikato support workers to walk off the job tomorrow


Up to 200 specialist support workers will stop work tomorrow for two hours, after last-minute attempts to finalise a new collective agreement failed.

Members of the Public Service Association and E tū union failed to reach agreement with Community Living Limited after a lengthy mediation on Monday.

Community Living Limited is offering a pay increase of 15 cents an hour phased in over 2 years - while giving non-union members at least 30 cents more.

"We are deeply disappointed that it’s come to this," PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

"Our members work in residential homes supporting people with intellectual disabilities.

"This offer cements us into poverty wages and it’s an insult to our members and the work they do."

Workers will picket Community Living Limited’s head office at 180 Collingwood Street, Hamilton Central, from noon until 2pm on Thursday.

"This is the first time most of our members have ever taken strike action, but they feel they have no other choice," E tū Waikato organiser Iriaka Isaacs says.

"The proposed increase is an insult to our members, particularly when non-union workers have been given more.

"We believe there is money there to fund a better pay offer."