Monday, February 15, 2010

Dear Kate ...letter to CEO Notting Hill Housing Trust

Kate Davies, Chief Executive, Notting Hill Housing Trust, Hammersmith, London, W6 8DL

Dear Kate

Campaign for Dignity & Respect for staff at Notting Hill Housing Trust

I am not easily shocked but I was when I learnt of the imposed cuts to basic staff terms and conditions at Notting Hill Housing Trust. Not only that but the refusal to even negotiate with UNISON over these cuts is also completely unacceptable. Collective bargaining between employer and unions is a basic human right and anyone who believes that merely “consulting” on a “like it or lump it” basis is acceptable good practice is living in the dark ages.

The refusal to agree to allow trade union representation to your board is even more utterly inexplicable. It makes people wonder what on earth you have got to hide?

While the failure to agree to even trying to seek arbitration through ACAS is just utterly appalling and deeply damaging.

Notting Hill used to be a beacon of excellence to the sector. In public housing it also had an incredibly proud history of being a socially responsible landlord. It has now apparently decided to join “a race to the bottom” for their staff while still paying its top tier of management huge amounts of money.

This sort of behaviour not only rots an organisation from within but also causes dismay to those of us who genuinely support accountable and fair Housing Associations. Housing organisations that treat their staff as rubbish will also tend to treat their residents in the same way.

It is no wonder the wider sector has such an awful image problem and so many Housing Associations are so deeply distrusted and disliked (...and I am being very , very “polite” here) by so many residents, councillors, assembly members and MPs of all political parties.

I urge you to reconsider the imposition of such nonsensical and retrograde measures on your workforce. Please just return to the negotiating table and begin meaningful talks.

A strike ballot of UNISON members is taking place following a 95% vote by your traditionally moderate members of staff in favour of industrial action in a consultative ballot.

I pledge my full support to my fellow trade unionists at Notting Hill Housing Group.

Yours sincerely

(will readers please send similar letters to £165K per year Kate and send messages of support to members via infoATunisonhablondonDOTorg   Also CC your letters to your local Cllrs, MP's, Assembly members and MEP's)


Chris Leary said...

Is there anything UNISON branches can do apart from writing to the CEO? Is there a strike fund etc.

John Gray said...

Hi Chris

The strike ballot result in due in next week. Will let people what to do after this.

Thank you for your support.

Anonymous said...

I have heard of people moving to the right as they get older but Kate Davies' 180 degree turn just about beats them all! Is this the same Kate Davies (Marshall) who, as a leading light in the Revolutionary Communist Party, wrote books about how she despised the Labour Party and all things to the right of Trotsky? Bless.
Power to the people and all strength to the union at NHHT!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, NHHT never was a beacon of light - it was always like New Labour: all gloss and spin and little substance. The ultra-posh offices only welcome people with money to spend (and certainly not tenants who want repairs done and complaints addressed). NHHT did pioneer the biggest pay rises for senior managers whilst trashing the overworked, underpaid frontline workers - I'll give them that.

John Gray said...

Hi anon

I honestly don’t think that “all” New Labour is like this but I take you point.

John Jameson said...

When I was at court I counted 15 Notting Hill housing Tennants being evicted like me. The council are actually refusing to pay rents all together now using lying officials who are willing to do anything to keep their jobs through the cuts.
Two thirds of people on housing Benefit are working but because of greedy landlords and empolyers using minimum wage as a defacto living wage people are trapped. Insane!!!!!!
And the Trust boss's rub there hands as they can charge new Tennants higher rents and and get grants for turfing people out and giving the flats to people who won't claim Housing Benefits. It was a NHHT housing officer who helped along with this. If thery are doing this they deserve what they get. John Jameson 58a UPHAM PARK ROAD. Soon to thrown sick on to the streets.

John Gray said...

Hi John

I don't think you help your cause by being abusive and I would not want to defend everything that NHH has done but the blame for these housing benefit cuts and rises in rent is down to this Tory Government.

There should be no surprise. Tories are doing what they always do when in power.

Anonymous said...

Notting Hill Housing Trust have habitually abused social housing tenants in ways that are in excess of inhuman and degrading treatment.

Jiminey said...

Please all sign up to the Action group made up from Listen NHH and Genesis Residents Action group. They are doing great things to help residents. Please share the webpage, volunteers welcome