Strike action is being considered as result of ‘unlawful’ pay reductions
Union bosses ‘step up resistance’ to pay cuts
Union bosses have threatened industrial action against care organisations which are cutting staff wages and changing working conditions.
Paul Kershaw, chair of the housing association branch at union Unite, warned representatives were considering striking if management continue to cut costs, which the union claims leads to poor-quality services.
‘We will be stepping up our resistance to pay cuts,’ he said.
In June, the union called for a sector-wide pay agreement because it believed lower pay was causing standards of care to fall.
Earlier this week, it accused senior managers at London-based housing association One Housing Group of using proposed savings through wage cuts to reduce their costs so they could undercut other organisations in tendering processes.
The group plans to reduce pay for up to 240 staff working for its support arm, One Support - a move that Unite claims is unlawful. The landlord would not say how big the cuts would be.
Mr Kershaw said in a letter sent to Anthony Mayer, chair of One Housing Group, that attempts to jointly explore challenges faced by One Housing had been ‘rebuffed’.
The letter accused One Housing of failing to ‘seriously engage’ with the union over decisions to cut staff pay and complained that despite a 90-day consultation on wage changes ending on 12 August, the next meeting for negotiations is not until 4 September.
A spokesperson for One Housing Group said this was as a result of ‘diary issues on both sides’.
A statement from One Housing Group said: ‘These proposals will enable us to expand our care, complex needs and retirement portfolios and to continue to fulfil our social purpose of delivering services for those most in need.’
Other organisations, including Family Mosaic, Hestia, Look Ahead Housing and charity Centrepoint have also come under fire for reductions to staff pay or changes to working conditions.