Homes and Communities Agency staff strike in dispute over pay

Homes and Communities Agency

Employees of executive non-departmental public body the Homes and Communities Agency who are members of the trade union Unite are undertaking a three-day strike in a dispute over pay.

The strike action, which begins today (Tuesday 10 July 2018) and will finish on Thursday 12 July 2018, will feature picket lines at two locations in London, one in Birmingham and one in Manchester.

The Homes and Communities Agency comprises two branches, Homes England and the Regulator of Social Housing.

The dispute, according to Unite, regards continual pay freezes and below inflation pay increase offers. The union stated that management at the Homes and Communities Agency have not proposed a pay rise that is beyond the government’s current guidance of a 1% to 1.5% increase. The organisation has instead offered to conduct a pay review, which will take approximately two years to report.

Unite also confirmed that the dispute further concerns how the Homes and Communities Agency is tackling its gender pay gap.

Adam Lambert, regional officer at Unite, said: “Unite members are taking strike action as an absolute last resort, as management has refused to listen to our concerns and has failed to enter into meaningful negotiations.

“After a decade of falling living standards, a proposal for a pay review is far too little too late. Our members will not accept further real terms pay cuts, nor are they prepared to wait another two years before the [Homes and Communities Agency] even begins to start tackling the gender pay gap.

“It is essential that the [Homes and Communities Agency’s] management understands the strength of feeling among staff, returns to the negotiating table as quickly as possible and puts forward a realistic pay offer.”

Iain Brookes, chief peoples officer at Homes England, said: “We are disappointed that Unite are taking strike action. We have already committed to reducing the gender pay gap as quickly as possible. We urge Unite to work with us to develop a detailed action plan and options for the 2018/19 pay award and a new long-term reward strategy.”