Sunday, 29 March 2015

Housing staff set to join public sector strike

Social housing providers will be hit by a national day of strike action on Wednesday over plans to change public sector pensions.

Housing officers and repairs staff are set to walk out, joining around one million local government workers across the UK.

The government claims that historically generous public sector pensions are unsustainable, and wants public sector workers to pay more in contributions. The final pension would be based on average earnings over the individual’s whole career, rather than their final salary.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, which represents around 100,000 housing workers, said: ‘Public sector workers spend their lives providing vital services and care deeply about their communities. They have had their pay frozen and seen rising workloads, as jobs and services are slashed. Now government ministers’ are coming for their pensions.

‘We are willing to negotiate with government ministers’ any time, any place, but we still have no deal that we can put to a single one of these workers. We want pensions that are secure and sustainable and give people dignity in their retirement. The door is open, it’s time to talk.’

Housing workers in arm’s-length management organisations and housing associations made up of stock transferred properties are also affected by the pension changes.

Many associations and councils are planning to close all housing offices on Wednesday.

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