16 May 2016

Support workers threaten to walk off the job

10:16 am on 16 May 2016

More than 200 Waikato support workers will strike if mediation for higher pay does not go their way today.

Workers at the Community Living Trust are rejecting a pay rise of 9c an hour, arguing it is well below what other providers are offering.

The Public Service Association and the union E Tu are due to attend mediation with the trust today, and staff have agreed to stop work for part of Thursday if no progress is made.

PSA organiser Frank Jackson said many were paid just above the minimum wage but did important work looking after people with intellectual disabilities.

"So nine cents an hour is insulting, it adds up to around $3.60 a week before tax, so an extra loaf of bread or bottle of milk. It's about half of what other employers have offered their staff. so we've got mediation and if that is unsuccessful, we will look to stop work for two hours on Thursday."

Mr Jackson said the trust's operating surplus was up last year, and it had the money for a better offer.