The GMB have informed us that their members in the housing repairs and maintenance service will be beginning industrial action next week.
This involves a dispute that arose before the transfer of the repairs service in April, relating to a claim from GMB for an 8% pay increase and standardisation of sick pay and annual leave.
We’ve had numerous discussions with repairs staff and trade unions over the past two years to make sure the transfer of the service continues to be a positive one for staff and our council tenants and leaseholders, including many constructive discussions with the GMB in an effort to resolve this dispute.
We will not be making anyone take a reduction to their pay.
We are offering all transferred staff the opportunity to switch from their current contracts to council terms and conditions, which includes full sick pay and annual leave entitlements.
This would see the vast majority receiving significant pay increases, and ensures that transferred staff are paid fairly and equitably with other council staff.
A few staff are currently paid above council rates of pay, and their pay will be protected if they choose to stay on their current terms.
The council has a strong employer offer to reflect the value we place on our staff, and to fairly reward them for the demanding jobs they do serving the city.
Our repairs staff will be eligible to receive the full benefits of the council’s offer, including support for wellbeing and family friendly policies.
Transferred staff have been provided with the local government pension scheme and have been paid in full throughout the Covid-19 crisis, while the service has been limited to providing essential repairs.
This has included Covid-19 special leave arrangements for those without sick pay under the current terms & conditions they have transferred to the council on.
We are keen to continue discussions to resolve the dispute and progress with harmonisation as soon as possible.
We feel the offer the council has made is fair, transparent and offers many benefits for colleagues who may want to transfer to council terms.
It also means that all council staff are paid fairly and equally and we are not entering into an agreement that might create unfair pay for any one group of staff.
If industrial action does take place, we will try to minimise any disruption and residents should report any repairs in the usual way.