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Residents Join Workers On Picket Lines

Unite Union Press Release - 10 November 2008
 

Residents Join Workers On Picket Lines

Workers were joined by residents on the picket lines over the weekend as union members at Maddison Residential Care in Karori went on Strike.
 
Members of Unite Union and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation are striking over a breakdown in negotiations for a new collective agreement and allegations that staff and residents are being bullied by the management of the facility.
 
"It was great to see the residents come out and support us" said Caregiver and Unite delegate Alan Crawford. "We face a lot of the same problems in regard to the bullying but if we stick together we can change things."
Incidents of bullying at the care facility have seen an unusually high turn over of staff and have also drawn complaints from residents. Last week union members wrote an open letter to residents and families explaining why they would be resorting to taking strike action and encouraging residents to report any incidents of bullying to their Health and Disability advocate.

Negotiations for a new collective agreement broke down this month after strained negotiations and stalling from management that has seen the negotiations drag out for 8 months. The main sticking point has been around the caregivers claim for a minimum start rate of $15 an hour.

“Caregivers at Maddison are paid only $14 an hour and have an extremely difficult job. These are the people that we trust with some of our most vulnerable members of society and it is such a shame that they are not valued for the great work that they do” says Unite union organiser Duncan Allan. “We've left these facilities in the hands of private interests who seem to be involved in the industry for no other reason than making money. Complaints are ignored, wages are kept low and turnover is high. It doesn't benefit the residents and it doesn't benefit the workers.”

Further strike action is planned.

Ends.

 

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