Dispute resolved at Wishaw & District Housing Association

Wishaw HAWishaw & District Housing Association has reached agreement with its staff over terms and conditions, bringing a conclusion to a dispute that had resulted in strike action.

According to the Unite union, the Association proposed to take four days’ holiday a year from the staff and to increase their working week by 30 minutes – the equivalent of four additional working days a year.

Some 14 Unite members at the Association including housing officers, senior staff customer services assistants, cleaners, maintenance assistants, and accounts assistants, took 20 days of strike action over four separate occasions since September.

The former vice-chair Eddie Mullen resigned amid the long-running dispute, criticising the actions of chief executive Niall Gordon.

However, new terms have now been agreed which has brought the stand off to a conclusion.

Brenda Higgins, chairperson of Wishaw and District Housing Association, said: “We are very pleased to have resolved these issues. This enables us to make a fresh start and develop the work of the association in a way that benefits tenants and the wider community.

“With a majority of new board members, this is a time of change for us and we are keen to ensure that staff are fully involved in helping us shape the association’s future.”

Following discussions at ACAS, it was agreed that the holiday entitlement would remain at 29 days rather than being reduced to 25, while the working week would be increased from 34.5 hours to 35 hours.

Private medical insurance will be maintained for existing staff, but with the Association’s contribution capped at the current level.

The terms were ratified by staff in a ballot and by the Board of the Association.

Unite regional officer, Gordon Casey, said: “Our members are pleased that their concerns have now been addressed by the Association and look forward to an open, honest working relationship with the board and management in the future.”

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