Housing services could ‘grind to a halt’ in Sheffield after workers vote to take industrial action

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Housing services across Sheffield could ‘grind to a halt’ after council staff voted to take industrial action.

Members of the GMB union at Sheffield Council’s housing services voted in favour of action in a row over changes to workers terms and conditions and the introduction of the council’s new housing management scheme, Housing Plus.

They are planning a period of working to rule, starting in a week, followed by strike action in January.

Staff claims the scheme is not working in the south-east area of the city where is it being piloted and customer satisfaction is low.

They also say the restructure will result in pay cuts and staff becoming ‘jack of all trades and master of none.’

Tenants will no longer be seen in local housing offices and instead housing officers will visit them at home.

Peter Davies, regional organiser for union GMB, said: “Not only have the council annihilated the terms and conditions, they are forcing through something which doesn’t work.

“The test pilot which the council said works, doesn’t.

“We don’t want to take action. We want to find a resolution.

“Working to rule means there will be no overtime and staff can decide not to use their own cars for work, which they have been doing.

“If they do that then the housing service will grind to a halt.”

Union and council officials are due to meet today to discuss a resolution.