Update July 2020
Hand wash facilities
After months of pressing Unite has finally managed to get hand washing facilities installed in vans. This has been long overdue and the urgency of the pandemic meant that we were not accepting any further excuses that could compromise the health of members and others.
Many staff are off due to health concerns in the pandemic and we commend management for this. However, proposed shift patterns would have meant some members working over the weekend. Unite argued that this was unworkable and those still at work must get suitable rest and the agreed, more sensible approach seems to be working
When the coronavirus hit there was a shortage of dust masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. Unite pressured management not just to look at the current suppliers as our members needed the PPE for normal work, as well as the coronavirus, to protect us from many other dangerous substances. Unite demanded that our members are protected and our branch officials successfully lobbied the Director and Chief Executive on behalf of members.
Contractors and privatization
Housing Property is, we believe, hoping to reduce contractors and bring more work in house. Unite supports this as it will increase staff and apprenticeship and quell rumours about privatization. Unite blocked privatization in the past and it was the solidarity of members that stopped it happening. Any moves towards privatization will be met with steadfast resistance so long as that reflects our members’ wishes.
Training and safety
Unite was involved in developing covid 19 training for our members and has ensured that safe procedures are in place for operatives visiting properties. This includes involvement in producing guidance for tenants and monitoring how this is communicated. Additionally, reps are negotiating other training opportunities that could benefit our members and need not be work related. You can look on the unite learning page for information on courses or contact a rep to suggest learning ideas.