Union launches fair deal campaign for workers at Falkirk social housing firm

Unite the union is running a fair pay campaign over next six weeks at the affordable housing group Link in a dispute over pay.

By James Trimble
Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 2:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 4:33 pm

Link covers around 15,000 social residents and the group provides a number of housing services including asset management, community regeneration and technical support.

Link workers are based across Central Scotland, including Falkirk and Unite represents plumbers, joiners, electricians, labourers, cleaners, welfare rights officers, benefit advisers and assistants, and housing officers and advisers.

The #FairPay4Link campaign comes in response to an ongoing pay dispute where Unite’s members previously rejected a derisory 1% offer which was subsequently imposed upon the workforce.

Link Housing Group is based in Falkirk's Callendar Business Park

Unite stated Link Housing is increasing its rent fee by 2.5 per cent, yet some workers who also rent their accommodation from their employer were only offered 1 per cent resulting in workers struggling to pay household bills.

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Carrie Binnie, Unite industrial officer, said: “Most members we represent were categorised as key workers during the pandemic, and they have worked diligently and professionally throughout providing essential services for tenants.

"Yet, their reward is a below inflation pay increase which amounts to nothing. It's actually worse than nothing, it's a pay cut when you take into consideration the cost of living and many workers are also tenants of the Link Group who have raised rental fees by 2.5 per cent.

"It’s important to remember that while the Link Group prides itself on being socially responsible it should also extend that responsibility to its workers and give them a fair pay deal.”

Talks have been going on between the union and management for a number of months, but no agreement has been reached as yet.

A Link spokesperson said: “We have been in negotiation with representatives from Unite since December 2020 in relation to the annual Link staff pay increase.

"It is disappointing we have been unable to reach a consensus but we shall continue to communicate with union representatives on the matter.

“As always, staff well being is a priority for Link alongside the provision of affordable housing and excellent support services to people and families across Scotland.”

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