Supervisors/Matrons at Iona College in Havelock North will take strike action
from this afternoon in support of a fair settlement of their pay claims.
will strike for 24 hours from 2.29pm today until 2.29pm tomorrow.
E tū organiser,
Thomas O’Neill says the members have been in talks to try to settle their
collective agreement since November 2017.
two years, and the employer still won’t agree to offer them guaranteed hours or
fair pay rates for the work they do,” says Thomas.
He says as well
as guaranteed hours, members are seeking the same pay rates as care and support
workers receive as a result of the equal pay settlement.
“It’s the same
kind of work,” says Thomas. “Our members look after people. They are entrusted
with the care of other people’s children, but their work is under-valued.”
Supervisors/Matrons, including Iona College member spokesperson, Tracey
Whittington say without secure hours and income, they are struggling.
undervalued and the pay rate doesn’t reflect our responsibilities or the
unsociable hours we work. We all work shifts, including weekends,” says Tracey.
“We also need
guaranteed hours because we lose money every time the school shuts down and
that’s quite often and includes extra days on long weekends.
contracted to do 72 hours a fortnight, but I checked my pay recently and I
haven’t been paid for that many hours since September.
“That makes my
life a struggle. I have a mortgage to pay. Most of us are sole income earners
so this is important to us.”
The members say
if pay is averaged out over a year, they are barely earning above the minimum
“I’m lucky I
have the support of my partner who receives super. A lot of these women don’t
have that support and it’s very hard for them,” says Boarding Supervisor/Matron, Julia Alexander.
“Iona has offered
nothing and that’s not good enough,” she says.
The members say
they agreed to return to work on Thursday, so they are available to support the
students ahead of their first NCEA exams which start the following day.
say if there is no progress, they are prepared to strike again at a later date.
care work at boarding schools used to be viewed as charitable work, and that
attitude seems to still prevail at Iona College.
has behaved very badly for a school that promotes women’s rights. The pay and
conditions reflect a belief that the members don’t need secure work, that
someone else can help them pay the bills.
strange to see these 19th century attitudes coming from an
O’Neill E tū organiser ph. 027 204 6350 – Thomas is the contact for media
seeking interviews with our members.