Unite accuses landlord of 'failing to engage'
Union bosses have accused a London housing association of failing to ‘seriously engage’ with representatives over changes to staff pay.
Paul Kershaw, chair of the housing association branch at union Unite, has written to the chair of One Housing Group, Anthony Mayer, alleging that attempts to jointly explore challenges faced by One Housing Group were ‘rebuffed’.
The union has 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’.
The group plans to reduce pay for up to 240 people who work for its support arm, One Support. It currently provides housing for 5,000 vulnerable people.
The price paid for each hour has reduced by approximately 30 per cent in cash terms since 2003, the housing association said.
‘[This] would place One Housing in the vanguard of irresponsible cost cutting in the sector which we believe to be unlawful,’ the union’s letter said. It went on to accuse the organisation of using money saved through wage cuts to undercut other organisations in tendering processes, because their costs would be lower.
A statement from One Housing Group said: ‘We are committed to continuing to deliver the highest levels of care and support to our residents. 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.
‘However, it is crucial to note that consultation on this matter is ongoing with our staff and their representatives.’