Outsourced Harlow housing repair and grounds workers to strike over pay
- Friday 17 February 2023
Over 300 staff responsible for Harlow council housing stock and cleaning and maintenance of council grounds and buildings will strike over pay in late February.
The workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are employed by HTS, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harlow district council.
HTS’s workforce voted by 87 per cent for strike action over pay being less than workers doing the same jobs at other local authorities.
The workers are demanding a cost-of-living payment and for their pay bands to be re-graded, so they are brought up to industry standards.
The council’s latest financial report showed it had assets of £63 million on 31 March 2022, an increase of £19 million from the year before.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Harlow council is fooling nobody. It is using HTS to keep these workers on inferior pay, terms and conditions.
“Harlow council can well afford to give these workers a cost-of-living payment and Unite is determined to ensure that is what happens. Our members’ jobs, pay and conditions are this union’s top priority and the HTS workforce will receive Unite’s full support during these strikes.”
The workers will strike on 21, 23 and 28 February during which housing repair and maintenance, street cleaning, grounds maintenance, cleaning and caretaking of council buildings and parks and gardening services will be severely disrupted.
More strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.
Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said: “Our members are not interested in the council’s empty promises about re-evaluating pay grades. Unless and until it sets a date for this to begin, we don’t believe this will happen.
“These strikes will undoubtedly cause disruption for council tenants and the general public. But this dispute is entirely the fault of HTS and Harlow council. They need to return to the negotiating table and put forward an offer our members can accept.”
For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
Email: [email protected]
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.