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.