Members of trade union Unite, currently on their eleventh week of strike action at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, are to protest the headquarters of the Department for Communities to demand Minister Deirdre Hargey intervene to end their dispute.
Housing workers in both Unite and NIPSA trade unions are seeking pay improvements above and beyond the 1.75 percent pay increase set out by the National Joint Council.
The two unions seek two pay point increases and a one-off cost of living payment alongside a number of other measures.
To date, the refusal by NIHE bosses to make any improved offer has had a huge impact on social housing tenants.
Unite Regional Officer, Michael Keenan, explaining the need for the protest, said: “We have housing workers who are now into their eleventh week of strike action this year. They are facing real hardship but are determined to win a real improvement to protect themselves and their households this winter.
“At a direct meeting [On Wednesday] with Unite, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey indicated that she had not instructed NIHE managers against making an improved pay offer. Unite challenged her to intervene and end what is a growing crisis for social housing residents. More than 260 disabled tenants are still waiting for adaptions to their housing and almost 300 housing units lie empty as there’s no one to perform the change of tenancy work.
“Workers will protest the Communities Department to demand Ministerial intervention. Standing idly by while both housing worker and tenants suffer is not acceptable.”