Friday, October 24, 2014

UNISON Members vow to fight Union busting at Catalyst Housing Association

"UNISON members at Catalyst Housing Association reacted with shock to the news that the Head of People and Organisational Development received a 28% increase in salary last year whilst they received a mere 1%.

The members were attending a large, boisterous union meeting called to discuss the Chief Executive, Rod Cahill’s, decision to derecognise UNISON.

A letter of de-recognition was issued last week in response to a letter of complaint from UNISON about bullying of stewards and the unfair treatment of union members at Catalyst.

Members expressed their anger and concerns about their employer’s anti-union stance and are prepared to even consider industrial action in their fight to retain trade union recognition at Catalyst.

When a legitimate complaint about serious concerns results in an instant letter of de-recognition, you do wonder about that organisation’s governance and accountability”, commented Regional Organiser, Colin Inniss. “Does this mean that Catalyst tenants who complain automatically face eviction?

All Catalyst workers deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as the organisations’ tenants and stakeholders; this is shabby treatment by an employer that is supposedly striving to go from good to great.”

Housing Association Branch Secretary John Gray said "Catalyst have refused to even meet with us to discuss our complaint or their concerns and have given out false and inaccurate information about membership levels.

They claim to have a strong Information and Consultation Committee that was voted in by 100% of the workforce; in actual fact less staff members voted for it than are in the union.

We have also taken legal advice and it is clear that Catalyst has acted unlawfully under international law and human rights.

UNISON always wants to talk to employers and seek agreement where possible. I call on the Board of Catalyst to meet with UNISON and settle this dispute before it gets ugly.

For Further information or comment please contact:

UNISON Regional Organiser, Colin Inniss

UNISON Housing Associations Branch Secretary , John Gray

Notes for Editors

1. UNISON’s represents over 60,000 members in the Community and Voluntary sector.
2. UNISON has recognition agreements with most of the G15 Housing Associations – London’s 15 largest housing associations.

3. Catalyst Housing Association own and manage over 21,000 properties in London and the South East

4. In 2013/14 Directors of Catalyst received pay increases ranging between 28.7% and 6.8%; frontline staff received a 1% increase in pay.

(hat tip London UNISON Press release)

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