Members of Unite, the country’s biggest union, working at Homes and Communities Association (HCA) are striking tomorrow (Thursday 19 May) for fair pay and proper pay negotiations.
Unite’s 145 members at two locations will stage a 24-hour strike commencing at 00:00 on Thursday 19 May over an imposed 1 per cent pay deal from last year that management has not negotiated through Unite.
Tomorrow, staff at the London Home Office building and at City Tower in Manchester will have picket lines between 08.00 and 11.00.
Unite members at HCA are responsible for regulating housing associations, checking that housing associations are being governed properly and that they are financially viable. They also oversee the provision of public funding for housebuilding in the UK.
Management were meant to negotiate the pay deal last year but delayed doing so saying that it needed ministerial sign off.
The government has capped all pay increases at 1 per cent right across all civil service departments. However members are angry at the way the pay offer has been implemented.
Anger amongst staff has been fuelled because instead of allocating the cost of living award as a flat rate, which would benefit the lowest paid staff the most, it’s been calculated as 1 per cent across all pay ranges, benefiting the highest paid staff the most. In addition, management has for the first time and without any attempt at justification, refused to give the pay award to those staff who have received a pay scale increment.
The government’s imposed 1 per cent pay increase cap effects all public sectors including NHS staff, local authority workers and civil servants.
Unite has been campaigning to remove the 1 per cent pay cap, which punishes hard working members with a cut in real terms as the cost of living soars.
Adam Lambert, Unite regional officer, said: “Our members are striking for fair pay and for their employer to abide by their union recognition agreement.
“The HCA should be setting an example of good practice across the sector, not freezing out the union and enforcing pay deals without proper negotiations.
“Our members work hard to deliver on a challenging and intense programme against a backdrop of unprecedented change within the sector. We urge management to rethink their approach and engage fully with Unite to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement.”
Notes to editors:
London: Home Office building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
Manchester: City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT
For further information please contact Unite campaigns officer Jody Whitehill on 07768 693956
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.