14 Feb 2012

Oceania workers striking over pay

3:10 pm on 14 February 2012

Employees at New Zealand's largest rest home chain, Oceania, have voted to take nationwide strike action in support of a pay claim.

A total of 1500 workers from the Nurses Organisation and the Service and Food Workers union have announced a series of strikes beginning on 1 March. They want a 3.5% pay rise.

The strike affects 20 rest homes from Auckland to Dunedin, with nurses, health care assistants and support staff all joining the strike.

Oceania has offered a 1% increase in pay but union advocate Alastair Duncan says this proposal fails to offer staff a reasonable cost of living increase.

He says the strike is a last resort after eight months of talks with Oceania.