Category: Community Support

IDEA: great progress at bargaining!

Dear IDEA Services members,

We are pleased to announce that good progress has been made in bargaining over the last week and we are positive about the prospect of reaching a proposed settlement very soon for members to vote on.

This also means that the strikes notices for tomorrow until next week (14-22 September) have been withdrawn, so just work your usual hours.

We are looking forward to giving you more information as soon as possible.

Regards,
Your IDEA Services Bargaining Team

IDEA update: ERA responds

The Employment Relations Authority has rejected IDEA’s attempt to force flexibility onto staff and a lock workers into a three year term.

In a recommendation released Friday 23 August, the Authority says the flexibility change should not go ahead and any new collective agreement should expire in July 2020. IDEA had wanted an agreement that didn’t expire until some time in 2021 and the right to force staff to change workplaces.   The bargaining team sees this as a major step forward.

However, the Authority recommendation does not support the union’s call for weekend pay and higher rates for all SSWs and RIDSAS workers. The decision is not binding and with targeted strike notice going in this week, we expect to return to the Authority in the next two weeks to try and settle this long running dispute.  

For more information contact E tū Union Support on 0800 1 UNION (0800 186 466).

IDEA Services stop-work meetings

Dear IDEA members,

Three days of formal hearings in the Employment Relations Authority concluded on Wednesday and we are now awaiting the formal recommendation of the Authority. The hearing was only granted because of your strike action. So well done!

However, no progress was made on our claim for weekend and SSW rates and the employer is still pushing ‘flexibility’. The good news is your strike action and the three day hearing did result in IDEA  backing down on their attempt to gut the health and safety clause and stop their cutting your rights around service reviews. We expect the Authority recommendation early August. This will be considered, along with more strike action at a national series of paid stop-work meetings in August.

Click here to view the meeting schedule.

ERA win opens new ground for IDEA, pay rise on the way

A series of strikes by E tū members employed by IDEA Services has been critical evidence in persuading the Employment Relations Authority to accept a union application for facilitated bargaining.

The Authority ruled that seven escalating strike actions were “likely to affect the public interest” and impact on IDEA clients. That was enough for them to direct IDEA to sit down and talk.

E tū advocate Alastair Duncan says the union welcoms the decision but was disappointed that IDEA had turned down earlier attempts at facilitation, leaving staff with little option but to take industrial action.

“Now we have a decision from the Authority that cannot be ignored.  After months of stubbornness, we hope IDEA will come back to the negotiating table willing to address very real staff concerns around staffing, safety and job security.

“To date, IDEA has been unresponsive to union attempts to find a middle ground and we hope that a move into a more formal setting will assist.

“IDEA is the operation arm of IHC, which is a multimillion-dollar business dependant on public funding and public good will. We hope IDEA will now stop trying to cut the rights of the workforce.”

Meanwhile, IDEA care and support worker workers will be getting pay rises of between 50 cents and $1 an hour as a result of the ground breaking equal pay win.

“IDEA tried to undermine vocational staff when we won the case, but the good news is that every care worker at IDEA gets a pay rise from 1 July,” Alastair says.

E tū will be holding paid membership meetings in August to report progress.

IDEA strike on Sunday: info for members

Dear IDEA members,

Despite another full day of mediation on Thursday 20 June, IDEA failed to make an offer to settle your collective so Sunday’s strike starting at 9.00 am and continuing for 24 hours is on.

On Tuesday 25 June we’re going to the Employment Relations Authority to argue the case that IDEA has breached the law and to see a formal “facilitation”. Your strike action is a key part of winning that hearing as it is one of the criteria that can force a decision.

We expect IDEA to try and undercut that process by making a late offer over the weekend. We are pretty sure they will continue to push their attempt to make you even more “flexible” and are confident any offer will NOT address the need to value Senior Support staff or restore the weekend rates they took off staff many  years ago. 

At the mediation it did seem they might be ready to back down on their attempt to cut the health and safety rights at work. We put that down to the action and support shown by members to date. So don’t stop now.

Click here for details about your local picket.

Full membership meetings are being planned for July, so keep an eye out for those details which will be sent to you and published on the website.

Access workers begin four-day strike

PSA and E tū members at Access Community Health have voted overwhelmingly in favour of further industrial action after their latest pay talks stalled – more than a month after members first took to the streets for better pay.

The latest round of industrial action begins today across the country, with members on strike for up to four days from today, Friday 21 June until Monday 24 June.

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

“Our members are beyond frustrated by Access’s 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.”

ENDS

Member action:

Access coordination staff in Whangarei will be gathering with supporters in the Whangarei Town Centre to distribute information to the local community at 11am today, Friday 21 June.

For further information, contact:

Kirsty McCully E tū Home Support Coordinator ph: 027 204 6354

For any local Whangarei media interviews and information please contact Moana Witehira E tū organiser ph: 027 204 6367

24-hour strike at IDEA services after mediation fails

A 24-hour strike by E tū care and support workers employed by IDEA Services will go ahead on Sunday after eight day of failed mediation talks.

The workers will walk off the job at 9am on Sunday, returning to work at 9am on Monday.

Three thousand members are affected by the dispute which has been running for eight months and has seen six previous strikes including last Sunday’s 12-hour stoppage.

The members are seeking extra pay for senior support workers, weekend penal rates and the protection of key health and safety rights. They are also resisting IDEA Services demands for more flexibility over their rosters.

“Despite another full day of mediation on Thursday 20th June, IDEA failed to make any offer to settle, so Sunday’s strike is on”, says E tū advocate Alastair Duncan.

Alastair says the strike will affect up to 600 residential homes with many unionised workers “having a well-deserved and rare Sunday off to spend with loved ones,” he says.

There will also be pickets around the country to inform the public about their concerns –

particularly IDEA Service’s insistence on being allowed to roster workers anywhere, anytime.

“Under the guise of so called “flexibility” IDEA wants to undermine the job security of the very staff who support vulnerable New Zealanders,” says Alastair.

Alastair says penal rates for weekend remains a key claim.

“IDEA’s parent company IHC took away weekend rates during the dreadful days after the Employment Contracts Act became law. It is now time to once again respect the fact that weekend work deserves an extra pay margin.”

In an effort to break the deadlock, E tū has also applied for a formal facilitation hearing by the Employment Relations Authority, which is due to be heard on Tuesday.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Alastair Duncan E tū advocate ph. 027 245 6593

IDEA Services dispute escalates: 12-hour strike Sunday

A 12 hour strike this Sunday by care and support workers at IDEA Services will go ahead after two days of failed mediation this week.

The workers will be striking from 8.30am to 8.30pm.

Three thousand E tū members are affected by the dispute which has been running for eight months and has seen five previous strikes.

E tū union advocate Alastair Duncan says the 12-hour stoppage signals an escalation of strike action.

“To date we have held a series of one-hour stoppages in an effort to convince IDEA of the need to seriously respond to staff concerns around health and safety, workloads and job security,” says Alastair.

“At IDEA’s request we attended additional mediation this week only to find the employer had little constructive to add and only wanted to deal with ‘hypothetical’ bargaining scenarios, with no firm pay offers.”

The union has applied for a formal facilitation process, arguing the bargaining has become protracted and the employer has shown bad faith.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Alastair Duncan E tū Industry Coordinator ph. 027 245 6593

Strike five Friday for E tū IDEA Services members

Workers supporting New Zealanders with intellectual disabilities at IDEA Services will strike again tomorrow for one hour from 8.30am in support of their employment agreement negotiations.

The nationwide strike will be the fifth in two months and follows a bid by IDEA Services, the operational arm of IHC, to cut working conditions.

E tū advocate, Alastair Duncan says the union represents nearly 3000 workers and the strike reflects their determination to prevent IDEA Services undermining crucial health and safety rights.

He says the union has applied for facilitation to help settle the dispute, “but IDEA is resisting the application,” he says.

He says members have appealed to the IDEA Services board for a meeting “but despite repeated requests over seven months to sit down and talk, board member and the Chief Executive have refused to meet with us.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Alastair Duncan E tū advocate ph. 027 245 6593