Thursday 20 October 2022
Unite members walk out over terrible working conditions
Around 50 housing officers and team leaders, responsible for managing Bristol council’s 27,000 tenancies, will strike from tomorrow (Friday 21 October) to Monday 24 October over unsustainable workloads.
The workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are angry that Bristol council is refusing to act even though the extra work is causing high rates of stress and anxiety. They are calling on the council to reduce workloads and allocate additional resources.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members have had enough of the intolerable demands that they are being subjected to. Levels of stress and anxiety have rocketed.
“The workers are absolutely right to take a stand against these unsustainable workloads and they have Unite’s full backing during these strikes. Bristol council needs to act now.”
The workers have seen a 64 per cent increase in the number of cases involving vulnerable tenants over the last year, which has placed them under enormous strain.
Unite said the council’s senior management have continually failed to accept or even acknowledge this reality and the need for the service to adapt.
Unite regional officer Joseph Murphy said: “Instead of working with front-line housing staff to properly prioritise workloads, the council’s senior managers have failed to act.
“Bristol council’s housing department is in crisis. The leadership must reduce workloads and provide the resources necessary for it to function properly.”
A housing officer, who is remaining anonymous to prevent repercussions from the council, said: “The reduction in services due to austerity has significantly increased our workloads. We feel like support workers sometimes rather than housing officers. We are a broken service with a broken staff.”
For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
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