Branch Secretary : suz.muna.unite@gmail.com
  

 

The Unite Housing Workers Branch (LE1111)

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Latest Updates

Stress: a growing epidemic
 

Working days lost to stress increased by nearly a quarter in 2017 according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), leading to calls for a “culture change” in how bosses deal with the “growing epidemic”...

 

Unite in housing: Pay up!

...Reps were introduced to Unites pay claim generator, a unique online facility which aides reps prepare pay claims and LE1111 branch secrestary Suzanne Muna has prepared a sector wide statement using the template which can be downloaded...

 

Sharon Harding: Special Guest Speaker at November Branch Meeting

Sharon is a black, female activists who started out in the challenging environment of the construction sector. She will be speaking at the branch meeting on 13th November, 6pm, Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Road.

 

Handling Grievances and Disciplinaries Training

Casework can seem often seem terrifying: bureaucratic and difficult to manage, with potentially serious consequences for members. But don't panic! This half-day training will arm you with the right strategy and give you the confidence to represent members. Open to all reps and activists.

 

Unite members at Peter Bedford ballot for pay strike

Unite members at Peter Bedford Housing Association are currently balloting for potential strike action over pay.  Senior management are refusing to pay staff the increment due for this year in accordance with this year's NJC pay scales...

 

 

Unite produces pensions briefing

...Around ten thousand housing workers could face attacks to their pension schemes following the announcement this week of further increases in the deficit of the biggest pension scheme in the sector...

 

Catalyst attempting to ram through reorganisation

Union busting Housing Association Catalyst have recently announced plans to reorganise their Environmental Services Management Team with redundancies threatened... strike considered...

 

Threat to housing workers’ pensions: Unite will resist


Around ten thousand housing workers could face attacks to their pension schemes following the announcement this week of further increases in the deficit of the biggest pension scheme in the sector.  Employers have been told that the deficit on the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) will increase to £1.5bn, meaning employers will have to increase their contributions to pay it off by 50%...

 

Mental health workers struggling under unsustainable workloads



Unite responds to the Care Quality Commission report on social care 

 

Report of ACAS diversity conference 


The focus of the day was on Diversity and Productivity, and there was a packed agenda of speakers in the fields of mental health, diversity and “neuro-diversity”...



London assembly questions housing association CEOs


Management communication with staff were actually helped by derecognising their trade unions at Catalyst Housing according to its boss Rod Cahill.  It was a reply that failed to impress assembly members in the London Assembly Housing Committee’s question and answer session with housing association CEO’s....



Unite calls on members to sign open Grenfell letter to housing minister


“Eleven months after the Grenfell fire, when the announcement (to fully fund the replacement of cladding on social housing blocks) was made, only 7 out of over 300 tower blocks had been re-clad"

 

“Likely that St Mungos passed on confidential information without permission”

The Information Commissioner has concluded that it is likely that St Mungos passed key information about migrant rough sleepers to Home Office enforcement teams without their permission. 

This has had very serious detrimental consequences for some St Mungos clients who were subsequently rounded up and deported against their will, sometimes spending extended periods in detention centres.   The Unite housing workers branch has campaigned on this issue since the publication of the intial Corporatewatch report in March 2017.

 

Housing Association bosses give Theresa may standing ovation
 


Housing association chiefs gave Theresa May a standing ovation for her speech to the National Housing Federation on Wednesday.  There can’t be many audiences in the UK where she could expect that...

 

Housing Association boss’s get inflation busting pay rises again


"...boss’s have been awarded an average pay rise of 4.3% this year according to figures published in today’s Inside Housing.  That is an inflation busting pay boost which will increase the already growing gap between frontline workers and top executives in the sector and is far more than their tenants and residents will have had..."


Cladding: hospital safety scandal


"...After last year’s Grenfell fire the government ordered safety checks of cladding on residential buildings, NHS properties and schools... Unite is contacting all of its safety reps and giving advice on how to ensure they are provided with clear evidence, if they have not already received it, that any cladding at their workplace is safe..."


Unite demands period dignity


Unite is demanding that women and girls have period dignity. By making changes in our workplaces, our places of education, and in society, women and girls will be able to have a positive period knowing that they are able to access sanitary products...


Catalyst Housing: senior pay races ahead of inflation


Catalyst Housing's annual report shows bumper pay increases for senior management. Below we reproduce the response of Unite reps at Catalyst where Unite has a growing membership and active presence despite the associations anti union stance and refusal to recognise trade unions...

 

Connection at St Martins restructure: Union fully consulted


"...The aim of the restructure is to fully put in place good practice approaches such as co-production, PIE, strengths based approach and recovery based approach and to reduce the costs of senior management..."

 

Irish Embassy Protest - Support the Dublin Occupations

Solidarity with housing activists occupying empty homes. Join us for the protest outside the Irish Embassy, 4pm, Friday 7th September, map.

 

HCA Pay Strike: Improved Options Approved!

Unite members at the HCA (Homes England and the Regulator of Social Housing) today voted overwhelmingly to endorse a revised set of options on pay following industrial action in July, and a sustained campaign over the last few months. The favoured options take a tiered approach and would significantly improve the amount awarded to those earning under £35k, channelling the greatest uplift towards the lowest paid staff...

Housing Green Paper 'Pitiful'

Faced with public outrage following the deaths at Grenfell tower, a deep housing crisis with unaffordable homes and rising numbers sleeping rough the government promised a “fundamental rethink of social housing in this country”.   But neither Tuesdays Green Paper on housing or Monday’s statement on rough sleeping pledges any new money.  One of the self-proclaimed themes of the Green Paper is supposed to be “Expanding supply and supporting home ownership” but not a single social home will be built because of these proposals...

 

New research from Unite: Construction bogus self-employment rises again

"...incredible 49 per cent of the industry’s 2.29 million workers were paid via CIS..."

 

13% real terms pay cut for staff - 'generous' pay at top

Unite members were recently on strike over pay at the government quango over delays in addressing the Gender Pay Gap identified in the HCA’s own report, pay disparities arising from haphazard salary setting, and the continued trend of below inflation pay settlements...

 

Pay: information for fighting back

Union members at Torus Group have accepted an increase of 3.1% in 2018/19 following rejection of the initial offer of two per cent for 2018/19.  The initial offer was rejected, and members voted for strike action.  Housing associations continue to squeeze pay and conditions in the sector despite record surpluses...

 

Work and the heatwave

Employers have a legal duty to prevent injury and ill health to their employees if they are exposed to unreasonably high temperatures at work...

 

Catalyst sick pay mass grievance: staff still waiting

Two hundred and forty staff at Catalyst housing are still waiting for a serious response to their grievance which challenges the draconian sickness policy at the association...

 

Job losses at Peabody Direct

Over fifty “Peabody Direct” call centre staff based at Waterloo, have been warned that their jobs are to be transferred from March 2019 to ex-Family Mosaic offices in Pitsea, Essex.  Staff have been angered by comments made by Chief Executive Brendan Sarsfield that they believe show he does not understand their role...

 

Unite fighting the far right

"At least 250,000 people took to the streets of London and in towns and cities across the country last week to make clear that the racist, mysogynist, xenophobic global bully Trump is not welcome here. The next day the so-called Football Lads Alliance (FLA) arrived on our doorstep, staging a demonstration in Whitehall which they claim was against extremism, but was a smokescreen for Islamophobia..."

 

Three Solid Days of Strike at HCA

See the picket line video here.

Strike ends on a high after three days of action over pay inequality and low pay.

HCA / Homes England strike

...on strike in protest at years of real-terms pay cuts and pay inequality... 10th, 11th & 12th July

Alternative housing awards - cast your vote now

...Through The Alternative Housing Awards we will name and shame associations for their bad behaviour...

 

Unite Policy Conference: £35 million strike fund

Addressing the fifth policy conference of the union in Brighton, Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey said that the union wins for workers because it has the courage to take on concentrated power, and that it offers hope of an alternative...

 

HCA members vote yes to strike!

Unite members at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have overwhelmingly voted for strike action in protest at years of real-terms pay cuts and pay inequality. The organisation is home to the Regulator of Social Housing and Homes England brands, and Unite is the largest of three recognised trade unions...

 

Catalyst housing workers mass grievance on harsh sickness policy

Over 200 staff at Catalyst Housing have submitted a grievance to the board of the association objecting to a harsh and possibly discriminatory new sickness absence policy which was introduced without consultation...

Data: GDPR and the workplace

Using new data regulations as an opportunity to negotiate better conditions

St Mungos: Lawyers complain to Charity Commission & Information Commissioner

Lawyers from the Public Interest Law Unit (Pilu) have lodged a complaint with the Charity Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about the conduct of the homeless charity St Mungo’s when it accompanied Home Office immigration, compliance and enforcement (ICE) teams on these patrols until December...

Savills: housing association profit margins increase

Associations have boosted margins

Do you know about the asbestos register?

...The database allows us to trace witnesses who may be able to support legal claims for other members who have developed an asbestos related disease...

Strike Action a Step Closer at HCA

 

Below inflation pay offer: housing workers prepare strike action

...workers overwhelmingly rejected a below inflation pay offer of 1.5 per cent for 2017/18 and two per cent for 2018/19, in a consultative ballot, despite this management refused to enter into negotiations and dismissed union concerns and instead imposed the pay increase on workers...

 

Unite: Employers need to provide more quality apprenticeships

"...Of 180 associations polled, just 31 responded – half the number that responded last year.  The reported increase was a mere 1.6%.  Just 29% of housing association apprentices were women.  Disturbingly, ethnic monitoring was incomplete..."

 

Unite slams ‘dead end’ construction courses

Unite is calling for a radical overhaul in how construction training is undertaken, after unearthing a large increase in so called ‘dead end construction courses...

 

Gender pay gap: what to do?

...Unfortunately Unite reps have been reporting that, with honourable exceptions, management in the sector has become less willing to engage on equalities issues in recent years.  We hope that will change as the new figures are discussed...

Homeless reduction act not funded

“...Homelessness Minister Heather Wheeler recently announced: “I don’t know why rough sleeper numbers are up.”  But she was apparently clear that they were not connected with council or welfare cuts.  In a radio interview her boss, Savid Javid, made the startling admission – from a Tory minister – that benefit cuts ‘may well’ have led to an increase in rough sleeping...”

Highlighting health and safety in April - International Workers Memorial Day

Use this event to raise the profile of safety in your workplace: asbestos? stress? bullying? All issues a strong union presence is crucial if you want to stop them...

 

Sexual harassment: EHRC plans welcomed but more needed

Recommendations by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) including outlawing non-disclosure agreements being implemented to prevent workers complaining of sexual harassment unless initiated by the employee making the complaint have been welcomed as a step forward by Unite...

 

Protest at auction with £7.2 million social homes up for sale

Housing workers from Unite LE1111 joined London tenants this morning to protest at an auction where £7.2 million social homes were due to be sold...

 

Feeling the squeeze - fight back on pay

This week’s figures for price inflation show prices rising at 3.6% per year (RPI) and forecast to remain steady.  That means we are still feeling a wage squeeze...

 

Is Mental Health First Aid the answer? Depends on the question

A number of employers on the social housing sector have embraced the idea of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in recent years.  The government has recently announced a £15 million programme with the aim of seeing up to 1 million people trained in basic mental health “first aid” skills...

 

Undercover rough sleeper

In a TV programme screening tonight Tory MP Adam Holloway spends a week sleeping rough in London.  His written report on The Daily Telegraph website gives some insights into what it is like sleeping rough but avoids the causes and ducks the fact that number of rough sleepers are rapidly increasing – up 15% over the last year making a shameful 169% increase since 2010...

 

Highly succesful branch agm

Our highly successful AGM on Tuesday heard from our officer Adam Lambert that we have experienced a marked increase in the number of reps elected across the branch and positive reports of many aspects of our work...

 

Survey on harassment and discrimination

Follow the links to complete Inside Housing's survey...

 

Homelessness: For a Right to Shelter

Last week saw blizzards and freezing temperatures engulf the UK. For most of us this meant a missed train, a day off work or at worst an embarrassing fall on the pavement. This has placed further focus on the rising problem of rough sleeping as for the homeless even one night of below zero temperatures can be fatal...

 

Jennie Formby: We must do better for women

I joined my union 40 years ago when I started my first proper job at William Hill, and with it my working world opened up. My union helped me find my voice. It helped me unlock new skills in myself and bring out the best in others. I was elected as a shop steward when I moved to gas company BOC aged 19, and my union helped me to not only find my voice but also to give a voice to others...

 

Homes England gender pay gap 18.4%

Unite reps at ‘Homes England’ said that the gender pay gap of 18.4% was sadly unsurprising but unacceptable.  The new government agency, which replaced the ‘Homes and Communities Agency’ in January, published its first gender pay gapreport...

 

St Mungos back in the news: rough sleeper deportations

Homelessness charity St Mungos is once again under scrutiny over its role in working with the Home Office in targeting rough sleepers for deportation.  An article on The Guardian website today reports that [St Mungos] "has worked with Home Office patrols as they go out on the streets in search of rough sleepers deemed to be in the UK illegally to arrest and deport.”

The Double – glazed glass ceiling

"...I grew up feeling equal, my father told me I could achieve anything I wanted to, he didn’t treat me any differently academically because I was a girl, my education was sound and from Maya Angelou, and heroines before her, I learnt the art of being engaging.What if it’s not just about being black, female or uneducated?.."

‘Record profits’ for housing associations

..."The increase in profitability in 2017 was driven primarily by cost reductions across the core social housing letting business, including cutbacks on maintenance costs and major repairs"...

 

4% inflation – what about our pay?

Inflation has pushed increasing numbers of housing staff in to real hardship.  Inside Housing magazine recently reported on how the housing crisis has hit social housing workers citing cases of homelessness and badly housed workers...

 

CITB confirms it will exit training role

News that the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has confirmed it will end all directing training by 2020, will create a skills black hole and strip the industry of the capability to undertake specialist training...

 

Strikes secure 20% pay increases at Manchester Mears

Unite members employed by Mears in Manchester are celebrating victory after they reached agreement to end their marathon strike action in a dispute over pay parity...

 

Peabody workers defend pensions

Generally the more an organisation talks about being ‘caring’, ‘kind’ and ‘human’, the less it actually is in reality. Images of empty vessels making the most noise spring to mind...

 

Deepening skills crisis in construction

Unite has renewed its demands for radical action to be taken to tackle the deepening skills crisis facing the construction industry. Unite made its call following the publication of this week’s Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) annual skills report...

 

Unite Equalities Conferences

Branch members in many workplaces are taking action on a range of equalities issues and responding to Inside Housing magazine's 'Inclusive Futures' initiative.  The Unite National Officer for equalities writes on the unions conferences this week...

 

Housing workers contribute to Labour Housing Policy review

The Unite housing workers branch has responded to Labour’s consultation on social housing policy by calling for a commitment to a mass programme of council house building, an end to deregulation and financialisation of housing associations, and more resources to address the homelessness emergency along with sustainable funding for supported housing...

Gloucester's Tory council demonises homeless

A Unite Community activist who volunteers with the homeless has blasted shameful Tory councillors for neglecting rough sleepers and “demonising” them in a tasteless advertising campaign...

4.5% pay boost at Peter Bedford Housing Association

Unite members at Peter Bedford Housing Association achieve 4.5% pay boost following rejection of performance related pay

Inclusive futures campaign highlights lack of diversity

... Inside Housing has launched a major campaign promoting ‘diversity and inclusion’ following research showing the social housing sector failing to progress.  The magazine highlights that a majority of the sectors leadership remains white and male.  Unite reps who have been battling against a range of management initiatives that weaken equality and diversity will welcome the initiative if increased attention results in action...

 

Fare increases outstrip pay

Commuters were faced with around 3.6% fare increases today.  As has been widely reported, that is over 50% more than the increase in earnings this year, no wonder there were protests at stations....

Unite helps migrant workers with English and so much more

Unite helps migrant workers with English and so much more "Khadija Najlaoui’s first experience as a Unite rep will never leave her. Najlaoui was representing a migrant worker in London who was experiencing difficulties in his workplace..."

'Homelessness is a national crisis'

Homelessness is a “national crisis” and the Tories are “unacceptably complacent” about tackling it, a cross-party committee of MPs said today. A public accounts committee (PAC) report found there are more than 9,000 rough sleepers in England and around 78,000 families in temporary accommodation – including 120,000 children...

 

The High Court has ordered the Government to stop deporting homeless EU citizens

The policy was introduced while Theresa May was home secretary. Our branch supported the legal challenge and the questioning of the role of homelessness agencies where our members work in cooperating with the policy....

 

Deal or no deal at Catalyst Housing

A proposed new “People Deal” at Catalyst Housing raises real concerns for staff – below we detail the proposals and their impact.  Catalyst derecognised trade unions some years ago and disgracefully continues to refuse to recognise Unite despite our active presence...

 

Grenfell families still homeless Branch members support protest

Many families that survived the fire at Grenfell Tower face Christmas in hotels and only a small number have been permanently re-housed

The battle for housing ideas

There's a housing policy battle going on inside the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn has made a clear commitment to council housing, but others are continuing the doublespeak of the Blair/Brown years. Vague noises about ‘affordable’ housing lack credibility. They also conceal an ideology that’s essentially pro-business...

 

Unite challenges construction industry on training plans

In the midst of a widening skills crisis the construction industry must spell out how it will train more British workers to avoid a calamitous Brexit for the sector Unite said today...

 

New Moody’s report gives financial thumbs up for associations

The ratings agency Moody’s has given housing associations a financial thumbs up noting the favourable policy environment and good operating margins...

Axe the Act - Housing Summit Pledges Action!

The second Axe the Act (AtA) Housing Summit took place on the 25th November attended by around 150 activists from housing campaign groups, housing organisations, trade unions, and other labour movement organisations...

Budget - not he game changer we needed

...Len McCluskey said, “Millions of households, who are struggling to make ends meet in the face of the biggest squeeze in living standards ever, will be left wondering where is this bright future the chancellor keeps going on about?..

 

Housing Workers oppose deportations and 'hostile environment' for EU nationals

Unite housing branch members will join a protest outside the Royal Courts on Justice on Tuesday November 21st in support of a Judicial Review of the Home Office’s policy of detaining and deporting homeless EU citizens...

Inside Housing reports: how housing crisis hits housing workers

“I have been street homeless while working in the sector, which made me feel close to a nervous breakdown.”

 

No more excuses: Fit sprinklers now

In the immediate aftermath of the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower the government pledged that money would not prevent vital safety work being done.  But since then they have set their face against paying for sprinklers - an essential measure according to the London Fire Brigade...

Labour and housing after Grenfell

After Grenfell, housing policy and what it’s doing to our communities has rarely been more in the political, media or public eye...

 

Channel Four Dispatches: #GreatHousingScandal

In our branch we have workers in the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), members on the Lancaster West estate whose lives have been turned upside down by the Grenfell fire and front line housing managers battling with the direct impact of austerity.  We have only too much direct experience of the issues raised by Channel Four!..

 

Mears strike resumes

A confidential survey of workers employed by Mears in Manchester and joint venture company Manchester Working (operated by Mears) has revealed very high levels of mental health problems and stress among its workforce...

 

Harassed at work? Unite can help

"...Colleen’s colleagues – the vast majority of them men – said enough was enough. In the spirit of solidarity, they downed tools in support of their colleague so she could get the justice she deserved..."

 

Housing Associations: surpluses up, staff costs down

Housing associations have booked record surpluses year after year, along with positive indicators in all the main areas of finance while squeezing their employees.  This picture is confirmed by an authoritative new report...

Mears: 49 days of strikes

Members of Unite employed by Mears in Manchester in housing maintenance roles will begin a programme of 49 days of strikes next week.  Mears are a large contractor oppoerating outsourced services for social housing providers nationally...

 

Housing association deregulation takes another step

An obscure letter from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to the treasury signalling its intention to move £63.5bn of housing association debt back off the public sector balance sheet marks a further step to greater deregulation.  In a letter to the Treasury sent on 31 August and published last week, the ONS said that after looking at draft regulations proposed by the government, it will provisionally reclassify housing associations as private bodies...

 

Government response to unpaid sleep-in shifts delays pay justice for thousands

Following a recent employment appeal tribunal decision, workers whose shifts include a sleep over (while on duty) must be paid at least the minimum wage for the entire period they are at work. Previously most organisations argued that such shifts were not subject to national minimum wage legislation...

 

Unite reps at Catalyst Housing challenge unhealthy workplace

...A recent Guardian survey of housing workers showed that 40% of them feel their workloads are unmanageable.  They also felt that the constant restructuring in the sector is badly managed and leads to greater stress.   At Catalyst Unite reps have made the following appeal to management...

 

Unite takes legal action against Optivo on behalf of members

Mergers and restructurings are pushed through across the housing association sector, often with scant regard to the views of staff.  Unite is pursuing a legal claim against Viridian Housing and Optivo on behalf of members who have not been properly consulted and informed...

 

More strike action at Northwards Housing Association / Mears Manchester

Mears Manchester workers overwhelmingly back fresh industrial action in pay dispute - The 180 plus workers employed in housing maintenance work by Mears and Manchester Working have already taken over 40 days of strike action this year...

 

RPI inflation hits 3.9% Britain needs a #PayRise

...Driven by increases in essentials such as food and transport this means real hardship for many housing workers...

 

Unite: Action needed on workpload & stress at Centrepoint

...Poor pay is leading to rising debt levels and inevitably, members are considering leaving. In our survey, 87% of respondents said that they were now in debt and 70% were thinking of leaving....

Catalyst Housing: "I would leave tommorow if I was offered another job"

Catalyst's CEO reviewed his own company as an employer and gave them 5 stars...

Unite: May's housing commitments fall short

Theresa May’s promise to build “a new generation of council houses” during her speech to the Tory conference on Wednesday sounded better than it is...

Unite demands action following racial disparity report

Following mounting pressure on prime minister Theresa May after repeated delays to the publication of a racial disparity report, it was announced this week (October 3) that the study will be out on Tuesday, October 10...

Northwards Housing Association: Freash Strike ballot in Mears Manchester

...Unite members employed in housing maintenance roles at Mears and at Manchester Working (a joint venture operated by Mears) have already taken 40 days of industrial action this summer in a dispute over pay differentials (up to £3,500 for workers doing the same role) and attacks on terms and conditions...

 

Hazards conference

...Each year, hundreds of trade unionists, the great majority of them workplace health & safety reps, come together to discuss a range of issues...

TUC discusses housing

"...Speaking in support of a motion on the Grenfell Tower disaster, Unite delegate Jim Kelly paid tribute to all who were tragically killed in the fire, including the many trade union members, some of whom were members of Unite, who perished, and others still who are now traumatised by the blaze or not yet accounted for..."

RPI inflation hits 3.6% What about our pay?

Unite members will face a further squeeze as RPI inflation - the most realistic indicator of costs faced by workers - came in at 3.6% in figures announced today.....

 

Plumbing pay deal win

...Workers in England and Wales covered by the agreement will receive an overall 8.4% increase on pay over the lifetime of the three-year pay deal. Workers will also receive two days additional holiday, increases in allowances which match increases in basic pay and a 20 per cent increase in sick pay....

 

Branch member Glyn Robbins on Grenfell in The Guardian

Grenfell must be a turning point in housing - for staff and residents. Making social housing more commercial has eroded workers’ skills and knowhow. We still care about creating a better housing world, but do politicians?...

 

Huge rise on bogus self employment

Huge rise in construction bogus self-employment demonstrates urgent need for radical employment reforms - Unite is calling for root and branch reforms of employment rights after new figures demonstrated bogus self-employment in construction is out of control.  A Freedom of Information request by Unite has revealed that in 2016/17 at least 1.076 million construction workers were paid via the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), an eight per cent increase on the figure of 12 months ago when 992,973 were paid via CIS. In total 47 per cent of the entire construction workforce is now paid via CIS.

 

Unite welcomes police ‘corporate manslaughter’ probe into Grenfell fire

The police’s investigation into possible corporate manslaughter charges relating to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, when an estimated 80 people died in the fire, was welcomed by Unite.  Unite, which is representing about 30 families affected by the tragedy, said that ‘people have to be accountable for their decisions’ in the run-up and aftermath of June’s fire.
The police probe relating to corporate manslaughter centres on the actions of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO)...

#BankStrike! Bank of England first strike in 50 years

Tuesday 1st August Badge Day – collect a strike badge from the picket and wear to work! Wednesday 2nd August Picnic Day – join the picket line for a lunchtime picnic to show your support Thurday 3rd August – 1-2pm – Closing Rally at Bank of England...

 

When 'sleep-in' time counts!

When it comes to looking at a worker's working hours, there are two different sets of regulations. Firstly there are the Working Time Regulations which set out the rules regarding rest breaks, daily and weekly rest, maximum weekly working hours and, of course, minimum annual leave. Secondly there are the rules regarding National Minimum Wage (NMW) which deal with what constitutes 'work' and therefore attracts NMW.  These two sets of regulations don't always match up, and this can cause confusion. Unite has prepared a briefing paper for its members – ‘Sleep In & Travel Time Cases’...

Barts Strike: Low paid workers two week action

Pressure is growing on the private contractor Serco as hundreds of low paid workers at Barts Health NHS Trust prepare for a two week strike from Tuesday 25 July in their continuing fight against low pay...

Our Reps and Activists are Schooled in Leadership!

Our hardworking reps quite often have to work unsociable hours, evenings and weekends, and any time off is therefore very precious. However, over 20 reps were prepared to give up a Saturday to come along to our first Leadership Forum on Saturday 15th July...

Catalyst housing: harsh new sick policy

Catalyst housing association have introduced a harsh new sickness policy without bothering even to give the impression of consultation.  Catalyst derecognised trade unions some time ago and appear determined to stamp on widespread staff concerns about unsustainably high workloads, bullying and poor management.  This move marks a continuation of a worrying trend in which some housing associations have launched attacks on the pay and conditions of their staff.  Is Sports Direct really a model for housing associations? Catalyst housing association have introduced a harsh new sickness policy without bothering even to give the impression of consultation. Catalyst derecognised trade unions some time ago and appear determined to stamp on widespread staff concerns about unsustainably high workloads, bullying and poor management. This move marks a continuation of a worrying trend in which some housing associations have launched attacks on the pay and conditions of their staff...

Mears / Northward housing strike

Unite, the UK’s largest construction union, announced today a dramatic escalation in strike action as part of a long running dispute with private contractor Mears and joint venture company Manchester Working (operated by Mears) over pay differentials and attacks on terms and conditions.  The 170 plus housing maintenance workers employed by the two organisations will be striking continuously for four weeks from Saturday 8 July to Friday 4 August.  Today’s announcement comes as workers take part in the eighteenth day of strike action of the dispute... 

 

Hot and bothered

You know what it can be like at work – one person feels boiling hot, another is wearing their hat and scarf – the temperature is never exactly right.  But in this current heatwave with the temperatures soaring into the 30s, it’s more important than usual that workers are in a comfortable environment...

 

Grenfell Tower: Independent inquirey plea

Successive housing ministers failed to act on a 2013 report warning of the dangers of fire to high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower – including Theresa May’s new chief of staff Gavin Barwell.  The revelations came as the Prime Minister ordered a public inquiry into the blaze.

After Grenfell: Change needed in construction

Unite, the UK’s largest construction union, is calling for a radical new approach to regulations and safety laws, following the Grenfell Tower fire.  Unite has three key demands: an overhaul of building regulations, the end of attacks on existing regulations and the implementation of a licensing regime across the industry...

Mears strikers protest at Chartered Institute of Housing

£3,500 less for doing the same work: Members of Unite in social housing will be demonstrating outside the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Housing 2017 conference...

Next Meeting for Our Sanctuary Members

Our Sanctuary members in London are angry but we are meeting up to get organised on Thursday 13th July, 7.30pm, at La Fabrica45 Stroud Green Road, N4 3EF (map)

Every Rep's a Leader - Leadership Forum

An event for reps and activists - leadership skills that will make us more effecient and effective in our workplaces. Download the details here.

Clarion: a fair slice of the cake?

...its no wonder that workers at Clarion (the merger of  Circle and Affinity Sutton) workers are feeling increasingly undervalued and overworked...

Unite seeks action after sharp fall in construction inspections revealed

Unite is seeking urgent meetings with ministers and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a freedom of information (FOI) request revealed a sharp drop in construction inspections...

Grenfell: Never again

Numerous branch members attended Friday’s protests to express solidarity and we will be on Saturdays protest from midday at Kensington Town Hall.  See our reports from the national Unite Live website and the £100,000 donation to the fire relief fund...

 

News

#StopUniversalCredit Unite day of action 1st December
#StopUniversalCredit Unite day of action 1st December
Stress: a growing epidemic
Stress: a growing epidemic
Unite in housing: Pay up!
Unite in housing: Pay up!