Sheffield Council housing staff to take industrial action

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Housing staff at Sheffield Council will take industrial action next week in a row over pay and the introduction of a new scheme.

Union officials from the GMB met with council bosses on Monday but failed to come to a resolution.

Workers are now set to take seven days of action from Tuesday, December 15 after a work to rule and strike notice was served.

Staff voted in favour of action over changes to workers terms and conditions and the introduction of a new housing management scheme, Housing Plus.

Peter Davies, regional organiser for the GMB, said more talks are set to take place on Friday.

He said: “I expect an offer to mitigate for the loss many face in pay but we shall see.

“We are also planning a short strike on January 6. If the offer comes and stops the loss in pay we will consider a suspension.”

Staff claim the Housing Plus scheme is not working in the south-east area of the city, where is it being piloted, and customer satisfaction is low. They say the restructure will result in pay cuts and staff becoming ‘jack of all trades and master of none.’

The council said customers have been positive about the scheme and overall satisfaction in the south-east remains strong.

Julie Toner, director of human resources at Sheffield Council, said: “We have been consulting with our employees and the unions for more than 12 months about the changes and there are more, not fewer, jobs under the proposals.

“Our staff are our greatest asset and we will continue to discuss the proposals with them.

“We will continue discussions with GMB and hope to resolve issues quickly.”