Social Housing

Strike ballot as Greenwich housing workers face £10,000-a-year productivity axe

Housing employees working for Greenwich council, who face losing £10,000-a-year when a long-standing productivity agreement is terminated, are being balloted for strike action.

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said it is balloting its 118 housing maintenance members at the Royal Borough of Greenwich for strike action from Thursday (5 September) over changes to their pay and employment conditions. The ballot closes on Monday 30 September.

The council wants to jettison the six-year old productivity scheme from 1 October which will mean the workers losing an estimated £10,000 a year in income when the cost of living is soaring in one of the world’s most expensive capitals.

Unite contrasts the salami slicing of its members’ incomes with the thumping £1.5 million spent on consultancy fees relating to the repairs’ service, including those covered by this productivity agreement, over the last six years.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The proposed withdrawal of this six-year-old agreement with only the most cursory consultation with Unite will see our hardworking housing staff members losing out to the tune of £10,000-a- year.

“To lose this enormous amount is a massive blow to their incomes when the cost of living in London, one of the world’s most expensive cities, is sky-high.

“However, there always seems to be enough cash to pay expensive consultants a thumping £1.5 million on the repairs’ service over the last six years.

“If our members vote for strike action, this will seriously hinder and disrupt the council’s housing repair programme, but there is still time for the council to sit down with Unite to have a meaningful dialogue on this issue.” 

This is the second dispute enveloping the council – last week, Unite highlighted plans to downgrade its Telecare Service that could adversely impact more than 2,000 of Greenwich’s most vulnerable residents.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065
Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

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