IDEA Services - working hard to ensure safe services during strike action

IDEA Services wishes to assure family members and people who use our services that contingencies will be put in place to ensure the safety of the people we support during proposed industrial action planned for 1 April 2019.

We received notice of the strike on Friday, 15 March 2019 at 4:30pm when we were busy establishing whether our staff, family/whānau and people with intellectual disabilities were safe in Christchurch. We are raising this timing with the union.

The strike action, involving many of our Support Workers, means areas will now put in place careful plans. Some services may change or be delayed on the day of industrial action. IDEA Services will communicate with anyone who is affected.

Please feel free to contact your Area Manager if you have questions about your services or the services of a member of your family/whānau.

Joan Cowan
Chief Operating Officer
IDEA Services



  • IDEA Services is committed to providing quality services to people with intellectual disabilities and valued roles with learning and development opportunities, good working conditions and fair remuneration to our staff.
  • IDEA Services will put contingency into place to ensure the safety of the people we support through industrial action – however we acknowledge some services may be reduced or affected.
  • We will communicate with those affected by services changes.
  • We carefully consider all demands (either financial or otherwise) and continually balance staff remuneration with other quality improvement priorities such as learning and development, staffing levels, health and safety and work tools (such as vehicles and technology).
  • IDEA Services is operating in a sector that is currently under-funded by $150 million dollars a year (Report from Deloitte and NZDSN).
  • We were proud to help secure more income for our staff through pay-equity, however we are continuing to meet significant extra costs, that we are not funded for, associated with this.
  • We are unable to meet demands to pay people higher rates in weekends. The demand is unaffordable and ours is a 24/7 business. The expectations of families and individuals do not change at the weekends and we see Saturday and Sunday to be no different from Monday to Friday. Service Managers are also working at weekends.
  • Changes in the sector reflect people with disabilities having greater choice and control about their services. That means some responsive flexibility is needed. We will ensure people continue to work in services where they have been orientated and their hours worked will not change.
  • IDEA Services continues to be committed to settling a Collective Employment Agreement for Support and Administration staff.
  • We have listened to the concerns raised by our staff and have worked hard to make an offer to address these.