Saturday, 28 March 2015

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.

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