29 April 2019
Sandwell Council’s Frontline Housing Staff vote 100% for Industrial Action
The lowest paid staff working in Sandwell Council’s Local Neighbourhood Offices have voted 100% for industrial action in formal ballots.
Members of UNISON and Unite the union who are Customer Service Assistants in the Neighbourhood Offices voted 100% for action.
Tony Barnsley, Branch Secretary for UNISON said, “The unprecedented 100% vote for action in a formal ballot by both unions just shows how strongly our members feel after they were denied a re-grade on the duties that they currently perform.
Our members want grade justice under our national job evaluation scheme. Unfortunately, they are now being forced into a position where the dedicated hard-working staff will now need to withdraw from performing certain duties to demonstrate to the Council’s senior management what they do.
We apologise to the public in advance, if they struggle to get the service they are used to.”
The industrial action will be in the form of a work to rule that will affect housing offices in Tipton, Wednesbury, West Bromwich, Smethwick, Oldbury and Blackheath. Sandwell Council have been formally notified that the action will begin on 10 May.
Matthew Law from Unite the union said, “Unite members voted 100% for action on an 85% turnout. All we are asking for is grade justice for Customer Service Assistants, who help a range of people with their housing problems at the front desks of the Local offices.
We call upon the Council to ensure the national grading scheme is applied correctly. We call upon the Council to intervene and engage in meaningful negotiations if the action is to be avoided.”