Industrial Action at Catalyst Housing
Plan to halve the number of neighbourhood managers
Catalyst Housing plan to halve the number of Neighbourhood Managers it employs. Unite members at Catalyst say this will result in a drastic decline in service. Staff say that the workload of neighbourhood managers is already unmanageable; doubling the workload would be disastrous.
The management refuse to recognise Unite the union, making normal negotiations impossible, but staff have voted to take industrial action; a work to rule will start on Wednesday April 20th.
Adam Lambert, Unite officer commented: “This industrial action will physically demonstrate that the objectives given to the NMS on their current patches cannot be completed within their contracted 35 hours, and also that the situation will be considerably worse under the new NSM job when the patches are doubled” and “In addition it is our position that the extent of the cuts are not financially justifiable.”
Last year Catalyst generated a surplus of £53 million
Paul Kershaw Unite Housing Workers branch Chair commented: “Catalyst is a highly commercial operation which boasts about the size of its surpluses. Last year it generated a surplus of £53 million, more than Greggs the bakers or Foxtons the estate agent chain which generated £49.7 million and £42 million respectively. Management have no justification for these cuts and show no concern for the well being of their staff or the communities which they serve. Catalyst should recognise Unite and open up a reasonable dialogue with their hard pressed staff”
The cuts to neighbourhood management jobs form part of a wider restructuring package intended to make the company 'look and feel palpably different'.
Last week The Guardian reported on cuts and unmanageable workloads in the housing sector.
UPDATE: Following the above report The Guardian carried this article on the situation at Catalyst.