Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Clarion Housing Strike, Boycott and Union Rights call

Latest news on merger!
Have a say - Vote in the indicative ballot
Dear UNISON Member

Clarion and Latimer management has decided to de-recognise trade unions for all staff. This would mean ending a 100 year old tradition of respect and partnership with unions for some parts of the business.

Management seem to have made a political decision that they do not want to negotiate with trade unions.  Your union reps and our national officers are appalled at this. For any organisation that wants to be seen as being socially progressive, not supporting trade unions is unacceptable.

We have been trying to get talks with management to discuss recognition. Regrettably, so far they have not agreed to discuss this.

Therefore all the Unions agree that we will carry out a ballot of members to see if they are prepared to take action to defend trade union recognition. All the unions recommend to their members to vote YES.

Please vote YES or NO to the following question:-

Question: “Are you prepared to take industrial action in defence of trade union recognition and the unions’ ability to protect your jobs, pay, terms and conditions?”

There are different ways you can vote in this ballot:
  1. Complete the ballot online here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk******* (if unison member)
  2. If you are using a work email address, forward this email to your personal email and return the following form: CLICK **** FOR BALLOT PAPER
  3. Print out the form and post it to Barney Wakefield, UNISON Centre, 130 Euston Rd, London NW1 2AY
Please ensure that you only vote once.
Please think carefully about using a work computer to return your ballot. Your employer is allowed to access all your work communications. It may be better to forward this email to your personal email and complete the ballot on your smart phone or personal computer.

The reply will only go back to your union and will be kept totally confidential. Please respond by 5pm Friday 6 January 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. “What is an indicative ballot”?
A. It is similar to a survey of union members to find out their views. It is NOT an official ballot by the unions on industrial action. That could come later.

Q. What is “industrial action”?
A. This can mean many things such as lunchtime and evening protests, only working your proper hours and only to your job description. It could as a last resort mean strike action but only after an official ballot.

Q. Will I still be able to get advice and support from the union if we are derecognised?
A. Your individual rights to advice and representation are not affected. You will still be able to receive advice and representation from UNISON Stewards and staff as before. Recognition relates to collective bargaining over jobs, pay, terms and conditions.

Q. What else are the unions doing?
A. We will be holding meetings across the Group and also lobbying MPs/Assembly members and Councils to review their relationships with Clarion and if necessary boycott until we have an agreement. We are asking for support and solidarity from other trade unions and resident Groups. An online petition is being set up and we will also be contacting pension’s funds and investors about the risk that such a damaging and unnecessary dispute poses to their investments.

Your rights to advice and representation
UNISON wants to make clear to all its members that if there is a period of time where we do not have recognition with Clarion Housing Group, or Latimer, your individual rights to advice and representation are not affected. You will still be able to receive advice and representation from UNISON Stewards and staff as before.

Recognition relates to collective bargaining and some other issues, but we thought it was important to make this clear at this stage. If you have any questions, please get in touch:

Email: l.baldock@unison.co.uk             
Email: b.wakefield@unison.co.uk         
If you have questions about the proposed merger, or the current Circle reorganisation, please contact John Gray on John.Gray@circle.org.uk

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