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Strong community support for undervalued Pact workers

Corrected Please note: industrial action in Pact commences on Thursday 20 October.

14 October 2011

Strong community support for undervalued Pact workers

As workers employed by mental health and intellectual disabilities provider Pact prepare for industrial action, hundreds of community members have signed letters supporting their bid for a fair pay offer.

Letters supporting the Service and Food Workers Union and PSA members have been signed by well over 600 people, including Labour leader Phil Goff, who signed in Invercargill.

Service and Food Workers Union Ngā Ringa Tota organiser Ann Galloway said 300 letters had already been forwarded to Pact’s management and board members to demonstrate the level of community support and more would be sent next week.

Ann Galloway said Pact and union representatives will attend mediation on Monday 17 October. Industrial action is set to begin on Thursday 20 October, initially with a paperwork ban and two hour stopwork meetings on 26 October.

“Pact’s facilities and services are vital for local residents requiring support to live more independently,” she said.

“Their families need to know they are safe and supported. It is also very important for our community that these services are well run by professional, skilled and caring staff. Pact staff are all these things. But their work is undervalued. They need a fairer pay offer than the miserable 1% Pact has offered.”

Ann Galloway said Pact’s income had grown from $14.5 million in 2008 to over $20 million.

“This year the cost of living rose to 5.3%,” she said. “The employer’s offer simply does not value our members’ contribution to their communities. Our members are willing to negotiate but so far there has been no negotiation from Pact.”

Pact employees who are SFWU members based in Dunedin, Hokitika, Greymouth, Oamaru and Balclutha voted to take industrial action. PSA members in Invercargill also voted to take action.

ENDS

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