Workers at Thirteen Housing Group, which has over 35,000 properties in North East and Yorkshire, are currently taking part in a ballot for strike action in a dispute over an “insulting” pay offer as the chief executive pockets £215,000 a year.
The majority of Thirteen’s homes for sale and rent are on Teesside. The housing group is known to have built up substantial surpluses at the same time as claiming not to be able to afford moderate pay increases.
Unite the union said that in an earlier consultative ballot, its members had overwhelmingly rejected a 3% pay offer at a time the real cost of living (RPI) is currently 9% and set to rise further.
What is the pay offer?
Workers are being offered an extra day’s holiday on their birthday, but being hit with increased pension contributions. The combined effect of the proposed pay and pensions’ changes means that those in the pension scheme will be arout £1,000 a year worse off.
Ballot for strike action
Unite’s members are now being balloted for industrial action, including industrial action short of a strike. The ballot opens on Tuesday 19 April and closes on Thursday 5 May.
Unite regional coordinating officer Mark Sanderson said:
“It is simply unacceptable that with bills rocketing, Thirteen Housing Group is asking our members to take a pay cut while putting more into their pension. These proposals will leave many £1,000 out of pocket this year, which Unite will not agree to.
“The employer needs to think again and table a more acceptable offer to our members who have Unite’s full support in their fight to win a fair deal.
“Since 2019 our members have received no more than a 2.8% increase to their wages in total while Thirteen’s CEO, Ian Wardle has received a 27% jump in his £215,000 a year salary. He’s among the best-paid housing association CEOs in the country.”
“The contrast with his team’s pay offer for our members is insulting.”
Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.