Some staff of a major housing association threaten to take industrial action if an offer of wages and conditions is not improved.
With more than 3,300 social homes across the Highlands, any strike action by Albyn Housing Society employees could have an impact on residents.
The GMB move was triggered after staff grew angry at a new offer of just 1% pay hike. However, many others were also angry that there was no recognition of the additional costs associated with working from home.
GMB staff were surveyed and 89 percent felt that one percent was not enough while 100 percent said they should be offered compensation for working from home.
Today, 79 percent said they “are now ready to take industrial action because of the serious discontent they feel.”
GMB Scotland organizer John McCartney said: âAs the staff survey shows, the 1% pay rise is not acceptable, the numbers speak for themselves.
âAn even more sensitive area is the lack of recognition of the increased costs of working from home. Staff were unanimous in saying there should be compensation for heating their homes, using electricity and the like – all of which have become a burden on the households that work for Albyn.
âThe GMB, as a union, is always happy to come back to the negotiating table to resolve this issue, but if Albyn does not want to negotiate seriously and in good faith to find a solution, industrial action is a very good option. real.
âIt’s a situation that can be resolved and that’s what we hope we can do, but Albyn needs to take it seriously first. ”
But the call to resume negotiations to find a solution comes as Albyn’s chief executive Lisa Buchanan and chairman Maxine Smith have resigned.
Kirsty Morrison, the current Director of Client Services, has been appointed Interim General Manager.
Mr McCartney said the changes added to concerns.
âThis is yet another disruption of the daily work goals of staff and adds to the high turnover of staff over the past 18 months,â he said. âThis high staff turnover is alarming for such a reputable organization and will undoubtedly be of concern to GMB members. ”
Ms Smith, who is also a Highlands Councilor, said: âI have been happy to have served on the Albyn board for 17 years. I took over the presidency two years ago, but it takes a tremendous amount of time.
âI’m trying to free up time to develop my own businesses, so I made the decision to devote more than enough of my time to the social housing sector.
âIt gives me time to focus on my own work as well as my work as a board constituent, which I still love.
“I also need personal time because I am not getting any younger.”
A spokeswoman for Albyn Housing, which has bases in Inverness and Invergordon, said: âWhile we are not commenting on individual resignations, I would like to point out that Kirsty Morrison has been appointed interim CEO.
âRecruitment for the positions of Managing Director and President is already underway.
âI am concerned that we are not providing any comment to the media on the negotiations. We communicate on these issues with the employees and with the union because some employees are members. ”
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