InfraCore workers will walk off the job tomorrow, as a stand-off continues between the company and unions over pay conditions.

The workers plan to picket at the intersection of Fenton and Amohau Sts.

InfraCore, a council controlled organisation, employs the city's parks, water, civil works and nursery staff.

It received notice of intended strike action this week by FIRST Union and Amalgamated Workers Union (AWUNZ), the two unions representing 91 staff who are on the same collective employment agreement.


Amalgamated Workers Union organiser Robert Popata said the strike would run from 3am to 1pm.

His union has about 80 members, however 10-13 of those were employed in essential services such as water and wastewater so would remain at work.

Popata said "enough was enough" for workers, with further strikes planned in the new year if the pay issues could not be resolved.

Popata said the company wanted some staff to agree to a wage cut to which workers were asking "who will feed my kids if you do that?".

In a statement, InfraCore said the dispute related to the company's proposed pay adjustments "to reflect current market rates" and the unions' proposal for an across-the-board pay increase.

"We offered to go to mediation and that was accepted by the unions but they have chosen to strike as well," InfraCore chief executive Tim Hammond said.

Popata confirmed mediation had been agreed for next Wednesday, however they did not believe InfraCore had anything new to add therefore workers had opted to continue with the strike in the meantime to "encourage" the company.

First Union organiser Phil Graham agreed, saying he felt there was nothing to be achieved by waiting for mediation.

The InfraCore statement said it operated in a commercial environment and had to provide its services at a market competitive rate.

"To achieve this the business has been seeking to make targeted adjustments to the current company pay structure. These adjustments have included looking at increasing the pay for workers in the lowest paid roles as well as the pay rates for staff in certain high market value roles. At the same time, for staff whose pay has been identified as out of step with the market, the company has sought to explore options to bring their pay rates into line with the market over time."

Hammond said "at this time the company does not see a simple percentage increase to all pay rates as appropriate".

"Having identified that there are some roles where the pay is out of step with the market, a blanket percentage increase potentially worsens that position. Hence the business' focus on targeted adjustments rather than a straight percentage for everyone."

Hammond said there was some common ground between the negotiating parties in certain key areas.

"It is extremely disappointing the unions have chosen to take strike action despite agreeing to meditation but, this being the case, InfraCore's priority is now to ensure essential services provided by the business will not be impacted and that any disruption to other services or projects is kept to a minimum."

Popata said while the unions and the company did agree on a few things, "at the end of the day workers are struggling". The decision to strike had not been made lightly, he said.

In a separate action tomorrow morning, around 300 people are expected to march to the Rotorua Lakes Council's final meeting of the year protesting the outsourcing of the city's aquatic centre.