Thursday, July 20, 2023

Clarion Housing Group must raise pay and stop pension cuts to avoid strike action, says UNISON


“Clarion is threatening to sack staff and re-employ them on new contracts and an inferior pension scheme. 

Caretakers, sheltered housing wardens and other staff at Clarion Housing Group  the largest housing association in the country – have rejected a 5% pay offer, says UNISON today (Thursday).


The union says this is essentially a wage cut that falls well short of inflation and that employees deserve more.


Clarion also plans to cut the pensions of nearly 300 staff. The housing association has said it intends to close all its final salary schemes, which means employees will be significantly worse off, adds UNISON.


The union says Clarion is threatening to sack staff and re-employ them on new contracts and an inferior pension scheme. 

Workers have been told that anyone who refuses to accept the new terms and conditions will lose their jobs, says UNISON.

UNISON London convenor John Gray, who is also a tenancy specialist at Clarion, said: “Clarion has offered little justification for wrecking the pension futures of so many of its long-serving staff.


“Employees were promised their pensions were safe when they transferred into Clarion from local authorities and other employers. 


“Housing association directors and board members have now gone back on their word. This is completely unacceptable, and the employer must think again.” 


UNISON London regional organiser Ezequiel Kramer said: “It’s disgraceful that Clarion, the largest housing association in the country, is acting in this appalling way. This will have a damaging impact on staff morale.” 


Notes to editors:

– Staff including those who have transferred from both Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing are currently on a final salary pension scheme. With a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme, the amount paid out is based on how many years someone has been a member and the salary they earned when they left that employer or retired.

 A consultative ballot conducted by UNISON over this year’s pay offer saw 92% of staff who voted reject the 5% offer, with 87% supporting strike action and 91% action short of strike action.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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