Council caretakers face £10,000 pay cut or the sack
THE LONDON Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham last week announced plans to dismiss its entire 110 workforce of housing estate caretakers unless they agree to an effective pay cut of £10,000 a year.
The council has told its caretakers that unless those who are residential give up their tied accommodation and take a 24 per cent cut in pay they will face the sack.
The combined cost for residential caretakers would amount to a 50 per cent salary reduction, meaning that they would lose around £10,000 per year.
Shortly afterwards staff were told by the Chief Executive, Billy Rae, that H&F Homes – the council-owned housing company – had become an accredited “Investors in People” company.
H&F Homes have given notice to quit their accommodation to 66 Caretakers, seven Caretaker Team Leaders and also seven Sheltered Housing Scheme Managers.
A total of 110 caretakers have been given notice in respect of the 24 per cent salary reduction and the first proposed redundancy will be on 30th May.
H&F Homes waited to announce these measures until after Government inspectors had finished their survey of the Borough’s housing stock to ascertain whether or not they would qualify for more funding to improve it.
But the inspectors have only awarded one star, saying that H&F Homes had “uncertain prospects for improvement”, a damning indictment of the company’s management.
Bert Schouwenburg, organiser of the GMB general union commented: “This brutal piece of mismanagement cannot be allowed to succeed. At a time when borough residents want to be reassured by the presence of uniformed caretakers on their estates, H&F Homes are looking to disband the service and replace it with a posse of estate cleaners on minimum wage, employed by some cowboy contractor.
“GMB will not let this happen and we shall do everything possible to protect our members’ terms and conditions, thus enabling them to continue serving their community.”
Police pay march
AROUND 18,000 police officers marched through Westminster last Wednesday in a protest at Government cuts to the pay rise that was recommended by the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal.
A message of support from TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said that that the Government made “a disastrous mistake” when it decided to ignore the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal recommendation of a 2.5 per cent pay award last year. Other workers in the public sector – including health workers and prison officers – were subject to a similar staging of their pay in 2007.