Brackenridge Workers Vote For Rolling Strikes
Monday 18th February 2008
Brackenridge Estate Workers Vote For Rolling Strikes
“Staff at Brackenridge Estate have voted for further industrial action including rolling strikes over seven weeks because their management have not come up with extra funding from Government to supplement the low pay rates and poor conditions of workers,” said Janice Gemmell, Senior Organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).
Brackenridge Estate is a facility that was established at the time of the Templeton closure to provide homes, care and respite for people with intellectual disabilities. NUPE and NZNO have been in bargaining since September 2007 to renew their multi union collective agreement. The majority of carers earn $14.50 an hour or less.
“Union members had hoped that the two day strike on 11-13 January would have persuaded the Ministry of Health to step in and provide the extra funding needed to settle the dispute,” said Janice Gemmell. “Instead the Unions received a response from management stating that ‘it is not reasonable for either party to assume that an outside agency will increase funding to provide for any increase in wage costs’.”
“The employer group (NRID) of which Brackenridge Estate is a a member, stated recently that the funding freeze placed on the sector by the Ministry of Health was to blame for the January industrial action ,” said Janice Gemmell.
“In the light of the inaction by management and the Ministry of Health, union members have reluctantly voted to inform management this week that a series of rolling stoppages will take place over the next few weeks,” said Janice Gemmell. “Details of stoppages will be announced as they occur.”