Newham council is facing a third industrial dispute in as many weeks over the way it treats a key group of workers, Unite said today (April 24).
Three gas managers working in the repairs management service will strike for 48 hours from just past midnight on Thursday. May 9, following the management’s withdrawal of a call out payment without consultation last December.
The payment is worth about £550 a month and Unite calculates that its members have already lost more than £2,000 during that period.
This action follows on from disputes that have seen 75 employees working in housing repairs being balloted for strike action over a myriad of issues, including a plan to introduce a new pay structure which cuts pay by 20 per cent from 1 June this year.
Also, 45 refuse workers are being balloted for strike action over the council’s failure to progress them through the grading structure which should have commenced 12 years ago. Unite estimates that individuals could have lost up to £20,000 each as a result.
Both these ballots close towards the end of May.
“Newham council is now facing a third dispute, following the unilateral withdrawal of the call out payment worth £550 a month from our gas manager members. Our members can’t afford to lose such a large segment of their income,” said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.
“They will strike for 48 hours early next month and their action will disrupt the repairs service, unless the management enters into a constructive dialogue to settle their grievances.
“It is has become apparent that Newham council is beleaguered by a very poor HR culture – the results of which are coming home to roost. Now is the time for the council’s bosses to put their employment practices under the microscope and rapidly make much needed improvements.”