PCS Vows to Join Unite Strike if No Speedy Resolution on Pay
As Unite members meet to discuss their plans for a strike following a successful strike ballot announced earlier this week, the PCS union which is also recognised by the HCA has threatened to escalate to an industrial action ballot if the Agency fails to negotiate within the next two weeks.
The threat is outlined in a letter of support sent to Unite members at the HCA which states:
On behalf of PCS members at the HCA, I would like to express our solidarity for the campaign that you have launched over pay and the excellent industrial action ballot result.
The letter goes on to confirm that the PCS are keen to ensure that meaningful negotiations take place with all the unions over the pay offer for 2016. They note that:
If management fail to deliver such by the end of May then PCS will consult members over industrial action. If members indicate that they back action, [the PCS] will proceed to seek permission ... for authority to undertake a legal ballot.
The letter concludes by recognising that industrial action is a last resort, but essential at times to ensure that representatives and the Recognition Agreement are taken seriously.
The dispute has arisen because the Agency ignored the union pay claim submitted in June 2015 and refused to negotiate for eight months, choosing instead to design its own pay settlement which it is threatening to impose. The unions claim that the pay settlement breaches the provisions in some staff contracts and the union recognition agreements, as does the refusal to negotiate or to seek conciliation through ACAS.
Unite members balloted 57% in favour of strike action and will shortly confirm their strike days. See the previous news items here
for further details.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Communities and Local Government. It manages the government's investment in social housing, and also has some land-related functions, making land and premises available to businesses. It also regulates social housing providers in England.