Sunday, July 16, 2023

Clarion UNISON Members to vote on action to save their Pensions & stop being fired.


On Friday this indicative strike ballot was sent to Clarion Housing Group UNISON Members being threatened with either giving up their pensions or being fired (possibly even without being rehired). A full postal official ballot of all UNISON members in Clarion is also being planned due to an unilateral real terms pay cut imposed on everyone. 

“Dear Clarion UNISON member,


We are aware of the worrying correspondence Clarion have sent you regarding “Defined benefit pensions closure - next steps”.


It is disappointing to hear Clarion are attempting to move into a dismissal and re-engagem.ent process, but rest assured we are taking legal action on this.


Whilst we appreciate the unnecessary stress you are being subjected to, Clarion have agreed that all members will be entitled to trade union representation at these 121 meetings to be held via Microsoft Teams. You will not get representation from us should you not be a member as at the date of your meeting.


Please do not hesitate to contact us (within 48 hours receipt of your meeting invite) as members, should you require trade union representation from us or reasonable adjustments made to your meeting.


We are running a consultative ballot of members regarding the defined benefit pension closures, and the further industrial and legal action we are taking. Completion of this ballot can only be done visiting the link below via logging into your work Microsoft Office account. Please submit it by 5pm Monday 31 July 2023. Please contact us directly should you not be able to meet this deadline due to absence etc.


((.  It is also very clear that Clarion have given you misleading advice about this process in order to frighten staff into consenting. Please see the advice below from Acas (not UNISON) and you will see it is perfectly legal to challenge this act if you follow certain steps (e.g. work under protest). To be clear, resigning and claiming constructive dismissal should not be considered without expert legal advice.



“Imposing a change

If you impose a change to a contract before getting agreement you will be breaking the agreed contract ('in breach of contract').

In some circumstances, an employee's actions might count as agreeing to ('affirming') the change if:

·         they continue to work under the changed terms and conditions

·         they do not inform you that they do not agree to the change


However, if an employee does not agree with an imposed change, they might decide to:

·         temporarily work to the new terms and conditions, but make it clear they are challenging the change ('working under protest')

·         resign and make a claim of constructive dismissal at an employment tribunal, if they feel the change significantly breaks their agreed contract (a 'fundamental breach of contract')

If an employee works under protest

If an employee works under protest, they continue to work under the changed terms, but make it clear that they do not agree to the change and take steps to challenge it.

An employee should make it clear to you that they're working under protest. They should usually do this in writing on a regular basis, for example every time they get paid.

They should normally only work under protest for a short time so they can formally raise their concerns with you or take legal action if you do not resolve their concerns.

For example, depending on the circumstances, an employee could decide to make legal claims against the organisation for:

·         damages for breach of contract at a civil court

·         'unlawful deduction of wages' at an employment tribunal, if the change affects their pay

·         discrimination, if the change means they are treated unfairly in relation to certain 'protected characteristics' under the law


If you impose a change that makes an employee's terms and conditions significantly worse than before, they might be able to claim unfair dismissal while continuing to work under the changed terms. This is a very complex claim. You should get legal advice if you're in this situation.

If there's a trade union

If you impose a change after not being able to reach agreement with a recognised trade union, the trade union might consider:

·         taking industrial action – for example a strike, refusing to take part in certain activities, or a 'work to rule' where employees do no more than what they're contractually required to do

·         supporting individual employees to make claims to a court or employment tribunal


Kind regards,


John Gray                                                                                          Joseph Ogundemuren

Clarion UNISON Convenor                                                              Clarion UNISON Deputy Convenor

Safety Rep & Pensions Champion                                                 Clarion Housing Association



No comments: