My own personal blog. Newham Council Cabinet member for Housing Services & Chair of Investment & Accounts. Councillor for West Ham ward, UNISON Branch secretary, Regional Council Officer & NEC member, Pension & Charity Trustee, Centre left and proud member of Labour movement family.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Clarion UNISON newsletter on Staff Survey – Trade Union Recognition
Survey – Trade Union Recognition
10 January, the head of HR confirmed to the unions that Clarion and
Latimer staff would all receive a survey, via email, on the subject of
trade union recognition.
All staff were sent a link to the survey today (11.01.17) via email. It
allows staff to express a preference for a Staff Forum or a recognised
trade union. If you opt for a union, a further selection opens up
inviting preferences for Unison, Unite or another union.
The three unions (GMB, UNISON and UNITE) have developed a positive
working relationship within Clarion and Latimer. We are disappointed that
your employer has chosen to try to divide us, by asking you to specify
which union you would want recognised. We also feel that asking this
question will put off people with limited knowledge of trade unions, as
they will not know which union to pick and will not respond to the survey
or select Staff Forum.
The employer refused to allow us to put a statement out to all staff to
accompany the survey. We had no input into the question being asked. They
did not give unions access to former Affinity Sutton staff. They also
turned down our offer of talks at ACAS, a neutral and independent
Please vote in support of union
We do not accept
the validity of this survey and have real concerns about the way results
will be reported. However we have decided that staff should still vote in the
survey and demonstrate their support for trade union recognition.
We are interested to see the results.
We are drawing up plans for a submission to ACAS, requesting a fair and
transparent survey, with the support of both the unions and the employer.
We would ask ACAS to help facilitate this.
We will continue to campaign for joint recognition of Trade Unions. We
will be approaching all stakeholders, including 176 local authorities and
over 400 MPs and Assembly Members, to ask them to encourage Clarion to
take a reasonable approach to the issue of trade union recognition.
All Staff Benefit from Trade Union Recognition
Whether you are
a member of a union or not, you will benefit from trade union
recent reorganization “Fast Forward Circle”, the unions entered into dispute
with the employer over the proposed changes to terms and conditions as
part of the reorganisation.
Circle originally proposed to set salaries
through a market review every two years. However, after negotiating
with the unions, Circle revised this to allow collective bargaining
Pension-matched employer contributions were also
increased from 8%, as originally proposed, to 12% for those who have
served for five years or more.
Circle also abandoned plans to abolish ‘income
protection’ – a benefit for those who are sick for more than six
months, as a result of talks with the unions.
chief executive of Circle Housing, said at the time “We are pleased to
have come to an agreement with our recognised trade unions on a new set
of terms and conditions… as
a responsible employer we changed some of the areas that mattered most to
our staff having listened to their feedback.”
Affinity Sutton and Trade Union Recognition
was a housing association that became part of Affinity Sutton and now
Clarion. Some former Broomleigh staff will remember having trade union
recognition for some years, until Affinity Sutton moved to derecognise
the unions. During the period of trade union recognition, staff received
far better pay increases than they have since union recognition was
removed by Affinity Sutton.
Ridgehill and Downlands also merged into Affinity Sutton and staff tell
us they enjoyed much improved pay offers and terms and conditions, prior
to losing trade union recognition.
Trade Union Recognition in other HAs
It is normal for
Housing Associations, with their ethos of cooperation, partnership and
social value to work closely with Trade Unions. Clarion will be unusual
if it breaks that link.
Here for example are just some of the Housing Associations who have Trade
Union Recognition Agreements with UNISON:
Metropolitan, Amicus Horizon, Nong Hill Housing Trust, Family Mosaic,
East Thames Housing Group, One Housing, Cross Keys
Don’t be at a disadvantage, support trade union recognition for the joint
Upcoming Workplace Meetings
Here are dates
and times of upcoming joint union meetings:
We will be adding other dates and doing targeted emails to relevant
members with updates. Please keep looking out for these.
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: