Housing repairs to be delayed as council workers strike over plans to slash pay by a third

Housing repairs across one borough are set to be delayed as more than 100 workers employed by a council are set to go on strike over plans to slash their pay by almost a third.

The workers, who are members of Unite the Union, are employed within the repairs and investment service department at Greenwich council.

The council says it has done a “pay benchmarking exercise” and will reduce the workers’ wages. The cuts, which would be enacted in stages over four years, will see some workers lose nearly £17,000 from their salary by the fourth year.

More than 140 workers will take an initial day of strike action on Tuesday. A picket line will be in place outside the Birchmere Centre, Eastern Way, Thamesmead, from 7am.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Greenwich council’s plans are a brutal and unjustified attack on our members’ living standards. Many will be left unable to fulfil their financial obligations such as paying their mortgages and rent. Others will be forced into debt.

“Unite never tolerates attacks on our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and the workers at Greenwich will receive the union’s unflinching support in defeating the council’s plans.”

Housing repairs across the borough will be delayed and disrupted due to the walkout. Strike action will escalate if the dispute is not resolved.

Unite regional officer Mary Summers said: “The strike action will inevitably cause delays and disruptions to Greenwich’s housing stock, but this dispute is entirely of the council’s own making.

“The council needs to take this abhorrent pay cut off the table. Decision makers know the value of our members and their pay should reflect that.”

A spokeswoman from Greenwich council said: “After 13 years of government austerity, the council’s budget has been cut to the bone and we owe it to our residents to regularly assess how we can best deliver for our communities. We’ve reviewed the wage structure of some repairs staff who, in some cases, due to a complicated and historic bonus arrangement, have salaries well above industry average.
“Following months of dialogue, we proposed a new structure. Unfortunately, at a point where we felt negotiations were nearing a reasonable resolution, we were met with a last-minute rejection and counter offer of a £60,000 lump sum per employee, on top of above average wages.
“This offer is unreasonable, unaffordable and frankly unrealistic – and unfair on staff who have engaged in productive conversations to this point and deserve clarity.”

Pictured top: Greenwich council (Picture: Google Street View)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.