Tuesday, June 06, 2023
Clarion Housing Group - June Pensions and Pay update - strike ballots over breaking #pension promises and poverty pay
Hat tip https://www.facebook.com/clarionunison
On Thursday last week Clarion confirmed that they intend to go ahead and close the Clarion legacy defined benefit pension schemes (not the Standard Life stakeholder fund most staff are members of) and therefore wreck the futures of around 250 long serving members of staff as well as break promises made to those staff and to important external stakeholders. They are also intending to bring about these changes by “fire and rehire”.
On Friday, Clarion UNISON reps met with our full time UNISON official to decide next steps on Pensions and Pay. It was decided to organise an indicative strike ballot for all members impacted by the pension closes as well as start up a campaign to save their pensions.
A Teams meeting has been arranged for Wednesday 7 June at 1pm for UNISON members. Another open meeting for all staff impacted will be held on Friday (details will be emailed directly to affected members).
Also, the meeting on Friday indicated that Clarion are not budging over pay despite UNISON making concessions and compromising so we will be moving to hold an official postal ballot on industrial action over the pay cuts all of us are suffering from due to a significantly below inflation pay imposition (5% or £2k).
There is much to do before we can hold a legal ballot on industrial action. We have to firstly make sure that all members’ home postal addresses are correct. We also need to hold meetings with members (and non-members) explaining “what is industrial action”, “does UNISON pay strike pay” , “is my job safe if I strike” etc. We will be producing guides and FAQs.
We also need to start to escalate into an industrial action ballot by firstly starting a campaign of events while we check postal addresses and inform members about what the process is.
In the meanwhile, go to MyUNISON https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/ and set up your admin account with UNISON (you will need your membership number which is at the bottom of this email) and check that your postal address, email and telephone number is correct. Send us an email when you have checked this and they have the right postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to share this to any non-members who may be interested and encourage them to join UNISON so they can take part in the ballot. They can find further information and sign up here.
For these campaigns on pay and pensions to succeed, we need more members to become reps and workplace contacts (sign-posting staff interested in joining). If you want to get more involved in UNISON then email us at email@example.com.
Final thought – UNISON has made it very, very clear to Clarion management that we do not want disputes with our employers, we want solutions. If Clarion wants a meaningful conversation about resolving these issues then we will talk anytime, anywhere.
Clarion UNISON Convenor
Safety Rep & Pensions Champion
Join UNISON 24/7 via https://join.unison.org.uk
Join the Teams meeting at 1pm Weds 7 June