Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Strike at 'One Housing Group'

STAFF at One Housing Group will carry out two three-day strikes, the Unite union has confirmed. 

A total of 41 union members out of 49 to respond to a ballot opted for industrial action.  Staff will strike from 19 to 21 June and from 3 to 5 July. 

The dispute centres on the 15,000-home association’s plans to cut pay for around 200 care and support workers from next February. 

Unite said staff are facing average cuts of £2,000 a year and some salaries will decrease from £30,000 to £23,000. 

Nicky Marcus, regional organiser at Unite, said the cuts were ‘appalling’ given that the association’s surplus on supported housing contracts nearly doubled from £700,000 in 2010/11 to £1.3 million in 2011/12.

A spokesperson for One Housing Group (OHG) said the changes were necessary to enable the social landlord to retain contracts in a difficult market.  She added that 90 per cent of the affected staff have agreed terms and said OHG is confident the strike would not disrupt services.  OHG also said 80 members of staff will have their pay increased. 

The union is angry the cuts follow an increase in OHG chief executive Mick Sweeney’s salary by £31,000 to £176,000 last year. 

OHG refused to explain why in November it said it did not ‘recognise’ the £176,000 figure the union quoted for Mr Sweeney’s salary, only to then publish the figure in its accounts.  It would also not explain why OHG quoted the lower figure of £150,075 in Inside Housing’s 2012 salary survey.

 News item from Sylvia Wilson on her HUT Newsletter.

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