Branch Secretary :

Strike Action a Step Closer at HCA

Unite members at the Homes and Communities Agency have moved a step closer to strike action following an overwhelming vote in favour of balloting for industrial action. 


The Agency, which has now rebranded its functions into Homes England and The Regulator of Social Housing, has been in a long running dispute over pay with Unite.


Members are angry at the imposition of yet another 1% pay settlement, well below the rate of inflation, the refusal to address the gender pay gap within a reasonable timescale, and the failure to introduce a mechanism for progression.




Turnout in the ballot reached above 70%, with an overwhelming 86% favouring industrial action. The spur to take action was fuelled when the Agency's executive went into concilliation talks at ACAS but immediately informed the union that none of the issues on the agenda were open to negotiation.



Unite members, who have previously taken strike action at the Agency in 2014 and 2016 over pay, report disappointment at the executive's failure to engage with members' concerns 


Unite representative Suzanne Muna said:


"Our members are sick of losing out year after year with sub-inflationary pay settlements. There always seems to be money for new senior posts with huge salaries, and to bring in a small army of consultants, some paid as much as £130k per year. Yet when our own report confirms that there is a gender pay gap at every grade in the organistion, we are told that it will take more than a year to put right."


Unite members have pointed out that housing is now high on the government's agenda, with more action needed to resolve the housing crisis. This has piled on the pressure for staff to deliver on targets and to work under constant scrutiny. Reps point out that investing in housing is not just about the bricks and mortar, but about the staff who deliver the programme of investment and regulate the housing association sector.


Members will now seek a formal ballot for industrial action, but reps have stressed that they are willing to enter meaningful negotiations and find an amicable resolution of the dispute.



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