"Overworked and undervalued" Hawke's Bay IDEA Services staff took to the picket line on Monday morning over concerns about how much they're being subjected to violence in the workplace.
The strike took place outside the IDEA Service building in Hastings on Lyndon Rd from 7am-11am.
One staff member told Hawke's Bay Today she had worked for the company for 27 years and said the protest turnout was both "positive and passionate".
"I work 125 hours every fortnight as well and have lot of other commitments outside of work as well as family life," she said.
"The staff are very committed and it would just be nice to offer them strong support in the workplace."
According to an E tu union industry spokesperson, workers were weighed heavy by chronic understaffing which left them working long hours, including weekends.
"They want extra money to compensate for time away from their families."
Along with that was the issue of health and safety, with many support workers being assaulted on the job by the service users - some serious enough to cause long-term or permanent injury.
E tu delegate for IDEA Services Nic Corrigan said workers wanted "adequate" staffing to keep them safe, along with strategies to deal with the violence they face at work.
"We take hits punches, bites and threats of violence and we try to manage this the best we can. What we don't expect is our employer to add salt to our injuries by dismissing our real safety concerns," Corrigan said.
IDEA Services chief operating officer Joan Cowan said although there would be some disruption to some services, IDEA had ensured people with intellectual disabilities would be safe during strike action.
"Each area has a plan in place, and anyone who has concerns or questions is encouraged to contact their local area office.
"We have been carefully considering all demands, either financial or otherwise, and are continually balancing staff remuneration with other quality improvement priorities."
She said IDEA Services was operating in a sector currently under-funded by $150 million a year.
"We have listened to the concerns raised by our staff and have worked hard to make an offer to address these."