A trade union is warning of major disruption as housing repair workers in Haringey prepare for a winter campaign of strike action over a pay dispute.

Staff in the council’s housing repairs team are set to stage six days of strikes in November followed by a further walkout in December after rejecting a national flat-rate pay rise of £1,925.

Trade union Unite says the offer amounts to a real-terms pay cut and follows years of wage freezes and below-inflation increases that have left almost half of its members struggling to pay their bills.

It says Haringey Council is also refusing to up the London weighting – a pay supplement designed to cover the higher costs of living in the capital – and increase annual leave for housing repair workers in line with other staff.

The council says the strike relates to a national pay dispute. But Unite says the national bargaining agreement for local government sets out minimum standards, and local authorities can agree better terms and conditions for workers if they wish to do so.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Haringey Council faces a winter of strike action. It’s totally unacceptable to seek to enforce yet another real-terms pay cut while refusing to improve terms and conditions in line with other councils. Even Haringey’s director of housing services admits there’s a problem.

“Unite will be providing members across Haringey with its complete support.”

Walkouts are planned from November 1 to 3, November 15 to 17, and December 18 to 24.

The planned industrial action follows earlier strikes by repair workers on September 25 and October 2.

It comes after Haringey Council’s director of housing services and building safety admitted neighbouring boroughs are offering higher salaries and poaching staff, holding back efforts to improve repairs performance.

A survey of Unite members working in local authorities found 48% have struggled to afford heating, electricity and water bills; 30% have struggled to afford food and clothing; and nearly a quarter (23%) are skipping meals to save money.

Cllr Sarah Williams, the council’s cabinet member for housing services, private renters and planning, said: “This strike relates to a national pay dispute affecting several councils across the country. This is a process in which we as a council have no direct role and do not wish to undermine.

“We value our staff and strive to be a fair and welcoming employer, and we recognise that this industrial action is largely a response to the cost-of-living crisis impacting workers across the country.

“This strike comes during a major investment and improvement programme aiming to deliver a high-quality housing repairs service. We want to reassure all our tenants and leaseholders that we are doing all we can to minimise any knock-on effect on our residents during the strike days.”