Bristol council housing officer strike continues

Bristol council housing officers continue striking over terrible working conditions and unsustainable workloads

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Around 50 Bristol council housing officers and team leaders, responsible for managing the local authority’s 27,000 tenancies, will continue striking over unsustainable workloads on 14, 15 and 16 December.

The workers previously took four days of strike action in late October.

The workers, members of Unite, are angry that Bristol council is refusing to act even though the extra work is causing high rates of stress and anxiety. They are calling on the council to reduce workloads and allocate additional resources.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Our members cannot carry on with unsustainable workloads being forced upon them. Stress and anxiety amongst the housing workforce have gone through the roof.

“Our members have Unite’s 100 per cent backing in taking strike action over their terrible working conditions. Bristol council cannot let this situation go on any longer, it must present a full resourced plan our members can accept.”

The workers have seen a 64 per cent increase in the number of cases involving vulnerable tenants over the last year, which has placed them under enormous strain.

Unite said the council’s senior management have continually failed to accept or even acknowledge this reality and the need for the service to adapt.

Unite regional officer Joseph Murphy added, “Bristol council’s housing department is in crisis. But instead of addressing the situation, senior management are making increasingly unachievable demands on our members. The leadership must reduce workloads and provide the resources necessary for it to function properly.”

A housing officer, who is remaining anonymous to prevent repercussions from the council, said, “The reduction in services due to austerity has significantly increased our workloads. We feel like support workers sometimes rather than housing officers. We are a broken service with a broken staff.”

By Barckley Sumner