Strikes by Harlow housing workers end with pay victory
- Tuesday 11 July 2023
Pay strikes by over 300 staff responsible for Harlow council’s housing stock and the cleaning and maintenance of council grounds and buildings have ended with a pay victory.
The workers, who are employed by HTS, which is wholly owned by Harlow district council, took strike action in February, April, May and June over being paid less than workers doing the same jobs at other local authorities.
They were demanding a cost-of-living payment and for their pay bands to be re-graded so that they were brought up to industry standards.
The workers have now accepted a deal that includes a non-consolidated payment of £1,500 for all employees earning less than £40,000. The deal will also see a complete review of all job roles by the Local Government Association to ensure the workers are paid the correct salaries.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members at HTS were absolutely determined to win this dispute and resolve the issues with their pay. This victory shows what can be achieved when workers stand together. Once again, Unite’s total commitment to protecting and improving jobs, pay and conditions is paying dividends for our members.”
As well as winning their fight for fair pay, the workers’ strike action also highlighted issues with the way HTS was being run. Harlow Council have now taken over HTS’ finances and are monitoring the company closely.
Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said: “This result shows why workers looking to improve their wages and working lives should join Unite and get their colleagues to do the same.”
For media enquires ONLY contact Unite senior communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
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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.