SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has given his backing to Housing Executive staff striking over fair pay.
Around 300 staff will commence strike action on Monday, with union Unite citing the organisation’s failure to make any pay offer to staff suffering as a result of the cost of living emergency.
Mr McCrossan called on the Housing Executive to recognise the increasing pressures its staff are under and engage constructively with the union.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“My office and I deal with Housing Executive staff every day, we know how hard they work and they have the full support of both myself and the SDLP as they commence their strike action on Monday. It is depressing that we are seeing so many workers across these islands forced to resort to strike action in order to obtain fair pay and working conditions, particularly in the current climate, but the outpouring of support from the public has been heartening as many recognise the important work these staff do and their right to be fairly compensated for it.
“Housing Executive staff play a vital role in communities across the North. They help people, including those in distress or fleeing situations like domestic violence, find homes, work to prevent homelessness and provide important advice and support to those on housing waiting lists. They also help manage thousands of housing executive tenants, ensuring that their homes are fit for purpose and that any necessary repairs are carried out as soon as possible.
“It’s disappointing that the Housing Executive has failed to engage with staff calling for a pay increase in light of the cost of living emergency. People cannot be expected to work 40 hour weeks while struggling to heat their homes or put food on the table. I can’t imagine how anyone could be expected to work to the best of their ability while under such pressure. I would urge the Housing Executive to engage with their staff and unions to reach a pay agreement so that staff can get back to work and before this disruption has a significant impact on tenants and those seeking housing.”