Up to 200 specialist support workers for people with disabilities will walk off the job for two hours tomorrow, after attempts to agree on better pay conditions failed.
Members on the Public Service Association (PSA) and E tu union couldn't reach an agreement with employer Community Living Limited after a lengthy mediation yesterday.
Community Living Limited is offering a pay increase of 15 cents an hour phased in over two years, while giving non-union members at least 30 cents more, PSA and E tu say.
PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says he is deeply disappointed that it has come to this.
"Our members work in residential homes supporting people with intellectual disabilities," says Barclay.
"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 in Hamilton Central from 12pm to 2pm on Thursday in protest.
E tu Waikato organiser Iriaka Isaacs says it is the first time most of their members have taken strike, but they feel they have no choice.
"The proposed increase is an insult to our members, particularly when non-union workers have been given more," says Isaacs.
"We believe there is money there to fund a better pay offer."