Sunday, December 16, 2012

Protest against Metropolitan Poverty Pay and Tax Cheat

This picture collage is from the rain soaked, somewhat soggy but very lively protest outside the HQ of Metropolitan Housing Trust (MHT) on Friday lunchtime.

Staff in MHT care and support arm are facing pay cuts of up to 40%, other cuts in terms and conditions and massive redundancies in parts of the Group such as in Derby.

These staff provide services to vulnerable clients up and down the country. Physical disability, mental health, homelessness, drug & alcohol abuse and the elderly.

Some now face earning the same headline wage that they started on - 15 years ago.

As you can imagine, like all of us, staff have mortgage and rent commitments based on their current salaries and face losing their homes if their pay is reduced in this way.

MHG want to reduce the pay of their staff to that below the living wage. They also want to employ part time staff so that these staff can top up their poverty wages with family credit and housing benefit. Which of course means that the taxpayer has to pay to top up these poverty wages, not only while these workers are at work but also when they become sick or retire.

Labour Leader, Ed Miliband has recently spoke about making all public sector employers pay a "Living Wage" to all their directly and indirectly paid staff. He has also asked the question why taxpayers spend huge amounts of public money subsidising bad employers who pay their worker poverty wages.

(The irony: The lobby took place outside Cambridge House which use to be a Victorian factory and is now the HQ of MHT. This building has the Latin motto "Labour et Probitas" picked out into the brickwork above the main entrance. This means "Work and Honour")


Anonymous said...

Well done for braving the rain, MHG have now put themselves in contention to win the race to the bottom. What they are proposing will increase staff turnover and they will lose their most experienced and dedicated care and support staff. The same is happening at One Housing Group, I hope to see some blogs about their disregard for staff soon.

John Gray said...

thanks anon and you are absolutely right. Watch this space for news of One Housing Group.

Anonymous said...

Housing Association are tax cheats. They don't pay any tax.

Most are going to charge (near) market rents.

John Gray said...

Hi anon

There is a lot wrong with many (not all) housing associations but not sure about the tax cheat allegation?

They are still charitable institutions. Even if some of them act worse towards their employees than well managed private companies.

Charging near market rates in high rent arrears will just make it impossible for families to pull themselves out of poverty and will just make them dependant on benefit for the rest of their lives.