Branch Secretary :

HCA Members Vote Yes to Strike!

Unite members at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have overwhelmingly voted for strike action in protest at years of real-terms pay cuts and pay inequality. The organisation is home to the Regulator of Social Housing and Homes England brands, and Unite is the largest of three recognised trade unions.


A Unite rep has said:


“The behaviour of the executive toward negotiators has been disrespectful. Instead of listening to our members’ concerns, they turned up to conciliation meetings with no interest in resolving the dispute. We have an army of consultants on hundreds of pounds a day for favoured projects, but they won’t even consider covering the cost of rising inflation for hardworking permanent staff. Our members have been getting poorer year on year and are not willing to tolerate it any longer”


This will be the third time that Unite has taken strike action over pay at the HCA. Staff were given a real-terms pay cut of just 1% in 2017 without any pay negotiations. It follows a decade of pay caps.



The union is also in dispute over a failure to equalise the pay of men and women. A Unite member explained:


“It seems like they won’t listen unless we go on strike. They've published this 'people plan' with lots of nice words about how all staff will be treated with dignity and respect - but obviously a bit less if you’re a woman because male colleagues doing the same jobs are on higher salaries. It’s a disgusting way to treat us.”


The HCA recently published its Gender Pay Gap report, now a legal requirement, which showed women are paid less than men at every level of the organisation. The HCA has however insisted that it can’t do anything to address it for at least two years, although with no plausible explanation as to why this is the case. Members are also angry about arbitrary pay setting that takes no account of skills and experience.


Unite is clear that its members will be on strike in July unless the executive offer a substantially improved deal.


See the TUC activists guide on Gender Pay Gap Reporting here


22 June 2018



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