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6 April 2011

Pay cuts provoke strike

A Unison member

Unison members employed as housing support workers at Leeds Federated are taking industrial action in a dispute over pay and grading.

Last year, Leeds Fed told us that they wanted to restructure the service we provide. Instead of us continuing in our roles - salary 23,000 - they said they wanted to split the role in two.

They proposed that the 'senior' role - the one which they thought contained the more difficult aspects of our job - was to be regraded, with a 3,000 pay cut!

Worse still, those who were charged with doing the 'less demanding' tasks were looking at a pay cut of 8,000! Yet this role involves carrying out the bulk of face-to-face work with service users.

There are also strong signs that Leeds Fed bosses eventually want all housing workers to be on the lower rate of pay.

We have told management of our suspicions. They have said that they had considered paying us all at the low rate but decided to take it "one step at a time"!

A striking member told me that there has been subtle bullying to try and put members off from exercising their right to strike.

If they get away with this, it is likely that they will try a similar stunt with other Leeds Fed workers.