Socialist Party
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6 November 2019

1 million cuts plan: Peabody housing workers announce strike ballot

Nick Auvache

Peabody housing plan 1 million of cuts to housing management budgets by March 2020, with potentially devastating consequences to residents and workers. Unite members have voted overwhelmingly to start a formal strike ballot.

In the spring, management launched a brutal restructure and have already deleted the entire community safety team. This important team dealt with high level anti-social behaviour including drug crime.

The number of neighbourhood managers is to be slashed from 80 to 65 - a loss of 15 posts.

Management defends this restructure by claiming it would "augment service improvement." Cuts, loss of specialist expertise and increased workloads to improve services!

The real reason is Peabody's stated aim of achieving a saving of 1 million by March 2020 as part of their so-called 'efficiency plan'.

The reality of this 'efficiency plan' is more work to be done by fewer workers. The current workload is now unmanageable.

Unite are now balloting for strike action as Peabody do not appear to be moving on any of the substantial points. Notice of the ballot will be given on 29 October.

Unite has also approached Unison which has now agreed to ballot its members as well. Given the strength of feeling on this issue, Unite believes that there will be an overwhelming majority in favour of action. The indicative response in favour of action has been around 95%.