UNION bosses are set to ballot 60 members of River Clyde Homes staff next month over possible strike action.

Unite say they are concerned about planned changes to terms and conditions of employment and have fears over job security.

David McGurk, Unite's regional officer, says there are major concerns over new contracts and a proposal to 'second' tradesmen within the housing association's direct labour arm out to a new organisation called Homefix Scotland.

Mr McGurk told the Tele: "This will mean they will have less rights under these new terms and conditions."

The union official claims RCH has 'gone back on its word' after workers previously signed new contracts.

He said: "Our members signed new contracts and terms only last year.

"They were given a cast iron guarantee that there would be no further changes."

Mr McGurk says the changes being proposed by the district's largest housing association are part of a five-year business plan and major shake-up in way it operates.

He said: "A five-year-plan is not good enough.

"There is no safeguard to jobs, that is the issue."

He confirmed that Unite members employed in administration by RCH - which employs a total of over 250 people - will also be affected by the changes.

Unite have met with RCH chief executive Kevin Scarlett and Maureen Gimby, its head of corporate services, and say they are open to further discussion.

Bosses at the social housing landlord - which owns over 5,800 homes and provides factoring to a further 2,200 - say they are disappointed that the union is holding a strike ballot.

Ms Gimby said: “We are currently in consultation with trade unions on proposals for growing the company and developing new sources of income that will improve our services, keep our rents affordable and secure jobs for the long term.

"A number of meetings with our trade union partners have already taken place with further meetings scheduled over the coming weeks to consider the feedback we have received so far.

"It is disappointing that an intention to ballot for industrial action is being considered prior to the conclusion of the formal consultation period and, of course, we hope this will not be necessary."