October 10 2003
IHC agreement not ratified
Members of the Service and Food Workers Union have failed to ratify a Collective Employment Agreement with IHC for the
Negotiations began in April. At that time IHC agreed for a union nominated financial advisor to look at its financial
position to confirm what it could afford. He said that the offer of 1.5 percent was at the upper limit.
“We weren’t able to offer more at that time because we were waiting to finalise our funding from the Ministry of
Health,” IHC CEO Ralph Jones said today. “Any increase in wages is dependant on our funding from government.”
“Once we learned that this was to increase by two percent we lifted our offer to two percent. This was not ratified by
the membership.” Mr Jones said. “Funding from the Ministry provides 67 percent of our income, an overall increase of
only 1.8 percent for all of our services.”
When the first offer wasn’t ratified IHC then agreed to backdate the increase to August 8. The negotiating team agreed,
but once again this has not been ratified.
“We are very disappointed at the result of the ratification meetings. Our offer exceeded our increase in funding from
the Ministry of Health, and we are not in a position to increase this offer further.
“We believe this is a reasonable offer. IHC’s wages are at the top end of the sector, and we also offer additional
benefits, including four weeks leave, double the statutory entitlement to sick leave, employee counselling, training,
and employee insurance.
“IHC staff do an excellent job – we would like to offer more, but the reality is that we can’t afford to increase our
offer without reviewing services. That will impact on people with intellectual disabilities, and ultimately jobs, and we
are not prepared to take this step,” Mr Jones said.