Absence of any movement from NIHE management on 1.75% offer “galling”.
Unite the union confirmed that it had lodged notification that the four week strike action being taken by its members working in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive will continue for a further four weeks. Housing workers in the union are seeking a pay improvement above the 1.75 percent increase for 2021-22 recommended by the National Joint Council for local authorities employers. Workers are seeking a two pay point uplift and a cost of living payment but as yet the union understands that management have not even sought any additional funding from the Department to settle the pay dispute.
Strike action at the housing executive is resulting an ever extending backlog of improvement work to public housing units. This is impacting social housing tenants who are left without measures to improve energy efficiency or for conversion to better suit those with disabilities.
It has been widely reported in the press that companies performing these tasks for those contracts which have been outsourced have had their fees increased by 20 or even 30 percent – while workers performing the same tasks in-house through the Direct Labour Organisation have been offered a mere 1.75 percent improvement.
Unite is questioning how private companies with outsourced contracts and performing the same work as its members can obtain increases reported to amount to 20 or even 30 percent whereas workers are being offered an insulting 1.75 percent.
General Secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, offered her continued support to the Housing workers:
“Our housing workers provide vital maintenance and improvement services to social housing tenants. This galling 1.75% offer means they are left with no alternative but to extend their strike action for a pay increase.
“The absence of any movement to address our members’ pay claim and end this dispute from management is a truly shocking failure. Unite is full square behind these workers in their fight for a decent pay increase.”Continue reading