Housing staff lobbied the Torus board meeting today (Monday) to highlight their falling living standards and the need for a decent pay increase.
The staff work in a range of roles including administrators, customer service advisers, housing officers and maintenance staff in St Helens and Warrington. They are unhappy that Torus bosses are again planning to hold their pay below the rate of inflation.
Last year, staff received a pay rise of 1.5%, but prices went up by 3.5% and the cost of some everyday items has risen dramatically including bus fares (14%), clothing and footwear (9%) and petrol (8%). For the next 12 months staff are due to receive 2%, but this is again below the forecast inflation rate and marks another real-terms pay cut.
So far Torus bosses have ignored their staff’s rejection of a below-inflation pay offer, while the highest-paid Board member has seen their payment increase by more than 6%.
Dan Smith, UNISON North West Regional Organiser said:
“Housing staff have experienced some very difficult years. Their working hours and their workloads have been increased, while their pay has not kept up with inflation.
“Torus is doing well financially and it is not fair that frontline staff are expected to suffer further cuts to their living standards.
“To avert the possibility of this ending in strike action, Torus bosses need to negotiate and agree a fair pay deal for staff.”