Disability support workers vote on strike

  • 20/03/2017

A strike could be on the cards for 3000 disability support workers.

Their union E tū says the workers have been chronically underpaid for years and will vote on industrial action.

It's been battling with IDEA Services for the past five months to get employees a raise. Spokesman Alastair Duncan says it can't continue.

"We've got an employer that seems to be unable to realise its best asset is its staff," he told Newshub.

"These are people that go the extra mile for the service users, people with intellectual disabilities, putting their own needs second."

Results of the strike ballot are expected to be known by the end of this month.

"The employer has not offered a cent, has not met us on critical health and safety issues, and is also not addressing the issue of job security," says Mr Duncan.

"What we'd like to see is IDEA make a reasonable, modest but sensible pay offer, and particularly work with us on staffing levels, on health and safety."

Stopwork meetings begin today in Kaitaia, Gisborne, Hawera and a number of other towns, and will make their way around the rest of the country over the next eight days.