Sunday, 31 August 2014

Housing staff prepare to go on strike

Housing staff in two councils will walk out tomorrow (Thursday) in solidarity with national public service strikes.

All staff at Birmingham Council, including some of the housing department, will strike over pay deals. Union Unison balloted 11,000 members in the city this week.

More than 60 members of staff at Camden Council housing repairs department will strike over a ‘department reorganisation and risk of staff redundancies’, a spokesperson from Unison said.

A spokesperson for Camden Council said: ‘The whole council is changing very significantly because of its savings programme and over 300 jobs have already been removed, many of which were vacant and the use of agency workers has been reduced by over 250. Equality impact assessments have been undertaken on our change policy and on all our change programmes.’

Minister have failed to reach a settlement with union leaders over plans to increase workers’ contributions and raise the pension age, leading to planned strikes tomorrow from three teaching unions and the Public and Commercial Services union, which represents civil servants.

But Unison, the biggest public sector union, said the government had given enough ground to delay a country-wide strike ballot until later in the year.

Pension changes recommended by Lord Hutton, who was charged with reforming the system, would affect the Local Government Pension Scheme. Its members include council housing staff, employees of 291 stock transfer housing associations and 69 arm’s-length management organisations, and could be implemented by 2015.

Readers' comments (15)

  • Chris

    Workers have a simple choice:

    walk out now and stay out until regime change is achieved, suffering the potential personal financial loss this will entail, or
    let the elite complete their domination and suffer the personal financial loss that will entail for the rest of your lives, and down the generations.

    Your choice - please don't make me come back in ten-years time and say I told you so.

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  • Rick Campbell

    Unfortuneately, Chris that nice Mr Minibrain seems to be saying the strikers are wrong -- the price he has to pay to show what a 'butch' leader he is?

    Do I understand correctly (or is it the effect of my medication) that Unison are saying the government has given ground?

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  • Chris

    If they have it is probably a few acres each to the Union Leadership - gone are the days when recent memories of the shop floor ensured the leadership argued for improvements that meant in improvement in the conditions for the rank and file. The numbers left with personal integrity seem slim indeed.

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  • Turkeys and Christmas ?
    Follow me comrades -- I`m right behind you all the way.

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  • Melvin Bone

    Even I'm stunned that a Labour leader who is in opposition is not supporting strikes opposing government policy. I always preferred it when Labour had socialist leaders.

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  • Rick Campbell

    Melvin -- I preferred it when Labour WAS socialist.

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  • Rick Campbell

    AND when the Liberal Democrats were not Tories.

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  • Chris

    True Melvin - the absence of choice is one of the biggest risks to democracy, and the largest impediment to equality.

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  • Rick Campbell

    What amazes me about all this is a government who says it wants to make things fairer wants there to be a race to become the lowest beneficiaries.

    I take on board that in general we are all living much longer but to some people that is a curse rather than a blessing.

    I also see that public sector workers want to protect their hard earned benefits, after all, wouldn't most posters? What would posters do in a similar position to let the government (millionaires in Cabinet government?) know what they thought?

    As for this nonsense about being like the Greeks element of the arguement -- news reports suggest that many professional people deny they are in receipt of less than 100,000 euros per annum.

    Perhaps if those with more were to pay more then that would assist Greece's current predicament?

    Maybe an onslaught on tax avoidance and demonisation of tax avoiders in the UK needs a dose of looking at?

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  • Only One

    Poor public service staff having to survive with a potential reduction in pension contributions. Whilst they whinge, and hark back to the days of the 3 day working week and regular power cuts, lets think of all the others who for no reason of their own do not have a job - Rok, Connaught, Habitat, Moben et al. Now lets look at those working who have no pension, or even a private pension that is nowhere as beneficial as local govt schemes. Get a life, look around you, and realise that you are probably a lot better off than others in society.

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