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Council workers in Aberdeen set to strike over cuts and reorganisation of housing staff

COUNCIL workers in Aberdeen are set to start four days of strike action today in a major escalation of a dispute over cuts and a reorganisation of housing staff. 

Unite said that about 40 of its members in Aberdeen City Council’s housing services department would walk out.

Members have already taken several days of action, with housing and support officers repeatedly warning that they have reached breaking point as a result of cuts to the housing support service and plans to merge the housing officers’ and support officers’ roles.

The housing department has also faced increased pressures due to a rise in housing arrears and homelessness in the area. 

The action is set to continue until Saturday morning, with picketing at the council’s city-centre headquarters. 

Unite industrial officer John Boland said: “The workers face unprecedented pressures due to the pandemic, and the proposal to merge job roles will add to that pressure and provide a worse service to the people of Aberdeen. 

“We had hoped the strength and determination of feeling among our members would get the council back to the negotiating table, but they have stubbornly refused to engage with us to positively resolve this dispute. 

“Unite’s members are prepared to continue this fight not only for themselves but also for the people of Aberdeen, because it is they who will ultimately suffer from these proposed changes.”  

A council spokeswoman told the Star that the proposed changes would not lead to spending cuts, impact pay or result in job losses and in fact would benefit workers. She added that 14 concessions or commitments had been offered to Unite, but no compromise had been proposed in return.

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