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

 

The Unite Housing Workers Branch (LE1111)

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Latest Updates

 

Sanctuary Members Vow: No Surrender! More Action!

What better way to end the bank holiday week than with a packed and resolute meeting of our Sanctuary Care workers demanding that if the employer doesn't meet their demands, we move to ballot for strike action.

 

Brexit on our terms

Trade unionists are not bystanders to the industrial impact of Brexit

 

Unite and SME construction firms agree 2.75% pay rise

The Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) has agreed a one-year deal involving a 2.75 per cent pay rise to come into effect in June 2019...

 

Days lost due to stress on the rise

Professional body for HR managers confirms stress on the rise due to poor management and unrealistic workloads

 

Women's Lives Matter - Branch Discussion - 9th April 2019

We are delighted to announce that Sarah Sachs-Eldridge will speak about why the 'Women's Lives Matter' campaign is relevant to both men and women within our branch. The meeting is at 6pm, Tuesday 9th April, Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Road WC1X 8TN

 

Next Sanctuary Care Staff Meeting - 18th April 2019

Thursday 18th April, 5.30pm – 7pm, Old Tiger’s Head Pub, 351 Lee High Road, Blackheath, London SE12 8RU.

 

Unions demand 5% increase for Peabody workers

...Peabody management say that financial performance is especially strong; their staff say "we cant take more real terms pay cuts."

 

Spy cop unmasked

The identity of a former spy cop who duped a number of women into sexual relationships and gained unfettered access to the homes of innocent activists has been been unmasked.

 

Slamming Slumlords and Bullying Bosses

On May Day, after we have marched with the trade union and socialist movement, we will make our way to a picket and hold our Alternative Housing Awards outiside the UK Housing Industry event. Everyone is invited to join us: 6pm, Wednesday 1st May, at the Grosvenor Hotel, 86-90 Park Lane, London W1K 7TN. And bring placards!

 

Kate Davies questioned by Notting Hill Genesis staff

"Given our values are centred around honesty, how can we trust her given that she hosted her private book launch on the anniversary of the Grenfell disaster on NHG premises?" 

 

Unite on construction apprenticeships

"...calling skilled workers ‘craftsperson and ‘master craftsperson,’ is only the first step to improving vocational status across the industry and far more needs to be done..."

Cost of Living - Going Up

RPI figure shows inflation at 2.5%...

 

Mitie industrial relations mess

Unite is warning that outsourcing giant Mitie should be barred from acquiring contracts from Interserve due to its woeful treatment of its workforce and its very poor industrial relations record...

 

Mears and Mitie housing workers gear up for industrial action

Workers employed by both Mears and Mitie undertaking housing maintenance work for Crawley council are gearing up for industrial action after nearly a decade of pay cuts...

 

Time off for family and dependants

'Work Voice Pay monthly' from Unite contains regular 'bite size' suggestions for bargaining. Are you taking up work life balance with members where you work? Let us know what you think and read the short guide...

 

New Training! Winning in the Workplace

Whatever the situation developing a campaign strategy will help you to increase your power at the negotiating table. and raise the union profile. Campaigning might seem scary prospect, but it is a skill that everyone can learn.

 

The Alternative Housing Awards 2019

The Alternative Housing Awards 2019 will take place on Wednesday 1st May, 6pm, at the Grosvenor Hotel - the home of exclusivity and privilege. It will coincide with the industry housing awards being presented in comfort and style inside.

 

Women Hardest Hit by Cuts

A new report entitled ‘Triple Whammy’ has been published by the Women's Budget Group, setting out clear findings that show how women are the hardest hit by government cuts made in the name of austerity.

 

Catalyst: Pay, Union Recognition, Childcare & Equality

Reps are preparing a detailed pay claim which includes an across the board pay increase, a larger pay increase for low paid staff and the call for a company wide equality audit, an improved childcare package and union ‘recognition.’

 

Unite to force blacklisting boss back in court

Unite is closing in on forcing Cullum McAlpine, one of the key architects behind the industrial scale blacklisting of construction workers, to account for his actions in court. The legal development comes on the 10th anniversary of the uncovering of the blacklisting scandal...

 

Councils should set 'no cuts' budgets

Enfield council lobby: Our members jobs are threatened by local authority jobs and the cuts have a drastic effect on services including homelessness and housing support services. Unite local authority workers have a long standing call for Labour councils to refuse to pass on these destructive Tory cuts....

 

Housing support cuts leads to increased rough sleeping

Rough sleeping is on the rise because of austerity and specifically because of cuts in housing services.  Jack Jeffrey, a branch member working with rough sleepers, looks at the figures below. Unfortunately, St Mungos continue to operate like a commercial contractor driving down costs and seeking to undermine staff terms and conditions.  We appeal to them to join with Unite in opposing cuts to services for rough sleepers...

 

Unite’s new period dignity fight is making great inroads

“We wanted to campaign against period poverty but we wanted to go beyond this and make it a workplace campaign too”

 

L&Q deny staff their bonus

London housing association L&Q angered staff last week when it announced it would not pay them a bonus this year following an announcement that its projected surplus would be cut...

 

Unite demands full benefits for construction workers

Unite is launching a campaign to ensure that all workers in the industry, regardless of their employment status or where their employer sits in the supply chain, are provided with death benefits, following the recent tragic fatality of a worker in Scotland...

 

Unite launches a grassroots history project with lessons that reverberate today

...The project will be history with a difference, involving trade union activists across Britain engaged in their own original research, including first-hand account interviews on the history of their own work places, sectors and regions...

 

In praise of housing workers

"...The attacks on pay and conditions that are regularly raised at my union branch (Unite Housing Workers) illustrate the gap that has opened between those providing front-line services and tiers of absentee management..."

 

Burnout nation

"...By the end of the year, 72 per cent of workers have not taken off the annual leave days they have been allocated. When polled in November last year, workers had on average 7.5 days still to take off..."

 

Unite HQ opens its doors to rough sleepers on coldest night of the year

Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed... thanked St Mungo’s staff, whose job security and terms and conditions are now under threat from their own employer.“Their support at Unite’s headquarters last night and in the coming days serves as a testament to the hard work they do,” she said. “That’s why it’s vital that we at Unite fight to preserve the pay, terms and conditions of charity workers like these who are motivated by an entirely selfless desire to help society’s most vulnerable.

SHAC Linking housing workers and residents

"...Stemming from an initiative by the Unite housing workers branch, SHAC (Social Housing Action Campaign) links workers in social housing and residents.  On Tuesday, members of Unite and the GMB, residents in a range of social housing landlords (housing associations and Coops) and some councillors debated a range of pressing issues..."

Not only one ‘blue’ day

...Improving mental health in the workplace is an aim that Unite has long been committed to...

St Mungo’s bosses trying to reinstate ‘race to the bottom’ T&Cs

...Unite reps have had a great response on stalls outside a series of staff conferences in London and Bristol. As well recruiting new members they have new volunteers to be reps...

 

Unite launches construction period dignity campaign

"...a survey of its women construction members found that a lack of facilities, when women were having their periods, was a major issue for many workers..."

 

New! Branch Training - Unravelling Union Recognition

Register here to reserve your place.

 

Developing Links with Tenants - SHAC Meeting - 29th January

All branch reps and activists are invited to the next meeting of the Social Housing Action Campaign, 6.30pm, 29th January 2019 at Unite HQ, Holborn.

 

Unite launches Brexit immigration law helpline

Unite has launched a specialist helpline to assist migrant workers concerned about immigration issues as the UK leaves the European Union...

 

Peabody: Unite members victory follows strike vote

...staff have unanimously agreed to accept a much improved offer from management...

 

Construction Industry Training Board betrayed

"...At a time when major outsourcers such as Carillion have collapsed, Interserve is on life support and many organisations are insourcing their services; it is flying in the face of reason for the CITB to be undertaking a major outsourcing project..."

 

Health and safety bulletin

 

Vote for strike at Peabody Direct

Unite members threatened with redundancy at the Peabody Direct call centre have voted to strike...

 

Unity over division

Unite nationally has launched its unity over division campaign in response to the rise of the far right....

 

Shelter staff to strike

 

And The Winners Are ...

The highly successful Alternative Housing Awards event has unveiled the housing associations deemed worst employers and landlords. Find out who has topped the leader board, and who has been left on the runners up roll call of shame.

 

Victory for Unite in Peter Bedford dispute

Planned strike action at Peter Bedford Housing Association, in Hackney, involving members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union has been called off after management agreed to honour the pay deal they had previously failed to implement...

 

Peter Bedford HA: Strike to follow breached agreement

Members of the Unite housingworkers branch at Peter Bedford Housing Association in Hackney are set to take five working days of strike action in a dispute over broken pay promises...

 

Mears buys Mitie's housing arm

Unite the union, representing workers at both Mitie and Mears, is seeking reassurances from both companies that the workforce will be fully protected following today’s announcement...

 

Catalyst £11,000 party for boss Redundancies for workers

Rod Cahill, the retiring CEO of Catalyst Housing Ltd, has enjoyed a lavish invite-only retirement party at the exclusive OXO2 venue in the iconic Oxo Tower in central London...

 

Strike action at Peter Bedford Housing Association

Unite members at Peter Bedford Housing Association voted 100% to strike on a 96% turnout.  The strike will start on Monday December 3rd...

 

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.  

 

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.  


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. 

 

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 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. ...

 

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. 

 

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”. 

 

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 ...

 

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.

 

HCA / Homes England strike

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

 

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.  

 

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 ...

 

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.

 

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 gap report...

 

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 ...

 

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 refus

News

Sanctuary Members: No Surrender! More Action!
Sanctuary Members: No Surrender! More Action!
Hypocritical housing associations
Hypocritical housing associations
Brexit on our terms
Brexit on our terms