Branch Secretary :

Outsourcing dogs the housing sector

One Housing Group members fear for jobs



The issue of outsourcing is an issue which is continuing to dog our sector and is another way whereby employers can drive down wages and conditions. The increasing reliance on outside contractors is something which we need to be vigilant about and campaign on.



Unite housing workers branch has received a number of inquiries lately relating to this issue and we remain 100% committed to supporting our members when they oppose this attack on their job security and terms and conditions.



Gas engineers at One Housing Group (OHG) recently contacted Unite for help regarding their concerns over the fact that OHG were increasing their use of outside contractors to undertake work that the in house team were qualified to undertake. OHG workers were seeing work signposted to contractors leaving them without jobs. This was a clear concern and the in-house team feared that if they did not do something to stop this they would eventually lose their jobs.



Unite’s call to management



These same workers had already seen their income dwindle as on call work was diverted to contractors. This is vital as many workers rely on this work to supplement their basic wages. Unite at OHG decided that this should be challenged so workers agreed to support Unite's call for OHG to reverse the decision over outsourcing and reinstate their "on call" work. Unite have called on OHG senior management to make a public statement to confirm that they will reverse this trend. Unless we receive a positive response by the 14th October workers have agreed to consider what steps to take next.



Unite's stand on this issue is generating significant support amongst OHG workers but also amongst OHG tenants and leaseholders who value the work done by the OHG in house team. They claim that many of the repairs done by outside contractors have been defective. 




Chris Reeves, a OHG tenant and chair of the Hillview Residents Association had this to say on the matter:



OHG reneged on agreement to bring maintenance in-house



"Hillview Residents’ Association has always opposed the use of outside contractors by landlord One Housing Group.


OHG agreed to bring all maintenance back in-house, but recently this commitment has been reneged upon, with contractors doing the work of qualified in-house personnel. This is no doubt a cost-cutting exercise. The result for tenants is a poorer service and for OHG workers the undermining of their wages and conditions.


Operatives on our estate have been observed ignoring social distancing with no PPE, and their admin staff are rude and insensitive to tenants’ needs. Other work carried out by outside contractors has proved to be sub-standard and shoddy, and the result of a false economy with our money." 



Nick Auvache October 7th 2020


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