SBHA claim union rejected proposal for 18 full-time jobs

SBHA maintenance staff are to be balloted on taking industrial action

SBHA maintenance staff are to be balloted on taking industrial action

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Talks between SBHA and the Unite union broke down this week, despite an offer from the Selkirk-based organisation to create 18 full-time jobs.

SBHA’s director of technical services, Alan Vass, told The Wee Paper that union officials rejected a proposal which would have seen temporary staff in the maintenance division get full-time, permanent contracts.

He also said the offer included a “substantial” cash lump sum to be split among the housing association’s tradesmen and women if they agreed to go to a monthly salary.

Mr Vass and SBHA are looking for staff to start work on site at 8am, rather than be paid from leaving home at that time.

He added that a counter proposal from Unite, for staff to start work from home at 7.30am, was “unaffordable”, claiming the union also wanted increased standby rates for staff.

However, Unite’s regional organiser, Tony Trench, told us that the proposal would have “negative cost” to SBHA and would also bring about an improved service for the association’s tenants.

Due to an error on the ballot paper, the vote by around 90 Unite members on industrial action is now due to close on August 10.

Following the breakdown of the talks, Mr Trench told us: “SBHA are hell-bent on pushing us out the gate, which is the last thing our members want, and we have bent over backwards to resolve it.”

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