Roddons Housing Assocation tradesmen claim new working conditions represent a 30 per cent pay cut.pp

Roddons Housing Association.

Roddons Housing Association. - Credit: Archant

UNISON workers employed by Roddons Housing Association in Fenland claim they are facing a pay cut close to 30 per cent, and have asked ACAS to get involved in talks to avert strike action.

The tradesmen have already indicated they are prepared to down tools over “draconian” measures that they claim will lead to increased working hours with no extra pay, oncall payments being replaced with time off, and loss of holiday entitlement.

Phil Gooden from UNISON said this week: “One of the biggest insults of the employers proposals is that during the week that you are rostered to be on stand-by, providing a 24 hr out of hours emergency service, our members are expected to completely close down their social lives, and stay at home, and consume no alcohol, or go out, so they can respond to an out of hours emergency, and do this for free.”

He added: “As a responsible trade union, UNISON prior to conducting the strike ballot has made a direct approach to ACAS, and has asked them to approach the employer for talks to avoid a potential lengthy, costly and totally un-necessary as well as a potentially damaging industrial dispute.

“We have our proposals ready to table to solve the dispute, we await the employers response.”

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Mr Gooden says his members’ pay has been frozen since 2010, resulting in a pay reduction of 15 per cent in real terms,

“However at the start of the year this did not deter the employer from coming forward and proposing a number of cuts to pay, terms and conditions,” he said.

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Mr Gooden says a set of proposals is set to be imposed on staff without their agreement, leading to pay cuts of close to 30 per cent.

The proposals include an increase in working hours from 35 or 37 hours a week to 40 hours with immediate effect for some, with no additional pay.

UNISON is also complaining about the loss of tool allowance, loss of standby pay, dismissal for refusing to sign a new contract of employment, loss of holiday, and changes to oncall payments.

Mr Gooden added: “Unison members have now twice in pre –industrial action ballots indicated that they are prepared to take strike action in order to resist these draconian measures insisted upon by the employer.

“These members have already suffered enough both after the impact of privatisation, and as a result of the imposition of a three year pay freeze by central government.”

Jenny Hodson, managing director of Roddons Housing Association, said: “We are negotiating with our DLO workforce on changes to terms and conditions. We need to ensure that our salaries and terms and conditions are comparable with the market so that we can offer an efficient service to our customers and help keep our business viable in the future.”

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