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2010 Local Government Service Group Conference
18 February 2010
Carried as Amended

Conference congratulates members in Barnet UNISON on their successful campaign to protect the jobs of sheltered wardens and welcomes the decision of Slough and Hillingdon councils to bring their ALMOs back in house.

Conference is alarmed at the emergence of proposals for stock transfer in Northern Ireland, the proposals by some councils with ALMOs to transfer their stock and the general threat to the jobs and terms and conditions of our members who work in housing. There is a further threat posed by Conservative proposals to pay for new build incentives by top slicing councils’ formula grant, ending security of tenure, moving to market rents and removing the rights of homeless people.

Conference is equally alarmed at the growth in Chief Executive’s pay within Registered Social Landlords (RSL’s), and the cuts in pay, terms and conditions and pension rights for some of the lowest paid in the housing association sector that have accompanied this unjustifiable growth in pay. Members in Brighton and Notting Hill Housing Trusts have had to take industrial action in an attempt to protect their rights. Conference is also concerned at the failure of Management Committees of RSL’s to ensure that equal pay audits are undertaken in their sector and to satisfy themselves that their organisations are compliant with UK and European equality legislation.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:

1)Develop a strategy to address the threat to the jobs, terms and conditions of members working across the housing sector arising from Conservative proposals to end security of tenure and assured tenancies and introduce market rents as a precursor to the wholesale privatisation of council housing

2)Continue to provide appropriate support to Regions and branches in which local authorities are considering whether to extend contracts with ALMOs. This support should include the analysis of option appraisal reports and business plans and advice on terms and conditions where these are less generous than those available to members employed by the local authority

3)Continue to work to protect the jobs of sheltered wardens

4)Provide appropriate support to Regional staff and branches in Northern Ireland to enable the stock transfer proposals to be critically analysed and to protect members terms, conditions and pension rights

5)Provide advice to branches and Regions working with tenant associations and federations that are campaigning to retain or improve council housing or oppse stock transfer

6)Work with Shelter and other organisations to protect the rights of homeless people and the jobs of UNISON members that deliver a service to them

7)Campaign against Conservative proposals to pay for ‘incentives’ for new housing building by cutting jobs from other council services

8)Provide advice and guidance to branches to ensure that any negotiated financial settlement between Government and councils following the Housing Revenue Account review provides adequate resources for council housing staffing, including pension costs, and does not rely on reductions to either staffing levels, pay, conditions or pension rights

9)Call on the Tenant Services Authority to include compliance with equal pay legislation in the governance requirements of RSLs and to press the Government to extend the two-tier code to the RSL sector

10)Continue to work with Defend Council Housing