Hundreds of members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed at the Housing Ombudsman and the Regulator of Social Housing will hold a week-long strike from Monday 19 June in a dispute over pay.

Below inflation increase

The union represents equal numbers of workers at both employers. Neither group has yet been formally offered a pay increase but both employers have said that they will not pay above the Treasury’s figure of a 4.5 per cent pay increase for the current year. With the true rate of inflation (RPI) currently standing at 11.4 per cent this is a substantial real terms pay cut. The looming real pay cut follows a two per cent pay increase last year, which in reality was also a substantial real terms wage reduction.

The organisations have substantial reserves but are declining to use them on increasing wages, claiming to do so would result in them being required to submit “a qualified audit”.

Crucial role

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members play a critical role in resolving disputes and ensuring the highest standards in social housing. It is unforgivable that they are facing yet another real terms pay cut, when the employers here clearly can afford to commit to a fair pay rise.

“Unite is now entirely focussed on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. The workers at the Housing Ombudsman and the Regulator of Social Housing will receive the union’s complete and unstinting support.”

Increased workloads

The workers at the Housing Ombudsman are responsible for investigating complaints and resolving disputes in social housing, while the Regulator of Social Housing is responsible for the economic and governance regulations relating to social housing landlords.

The workers at both organisations report a huge increase in workload and an expansion in work as a result of new regulations coming into effect. Workers report they are being required to undertake two jobs; their existing workload and also training and mentoring new starters.

Delays and disruption inevitable

Unite regional officer Peter Storey said: “Strike action will inevitably cause delays and disruption to the vital services that our members perform but this dispute is entirely the fault of the employers. They can afford to make a fair pay offer but have declined to do so.”


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.