Sunday, September 17, 2023

"Emergency motion passed unanimously at branch executive over Clarion Housing Group “fire and rehire” dismissals and breaking pension promises"

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 "On 5 September 2023 Clarion sent dismissal notices to 54 of its most long serving staff in order to close down its defined benefit pension provision. Clarion has made it clear that that it staff do not “consent” then they will be deemed to have left the organisation without compensation.

The extremely hostile and threatening nature of Clarion communications has already led to 200 staff being bullied out of the schemes.
Some of the staff impacted have over 30 years’ service with Clarion and its predecessor employers and many of these staff have had their pension plans destroyed since they will not have enough time (or income) to make up the difference.
The staff impacted had joined Clarion in the past because they promised a defined benefit pension or had been tupe transferred from councils and promised that they can keep these pensions.
Clarion have refused to disclose information relating to the costs of closure, but we believe that cuts to staff terms and conditions are behind this action at a time that Clarion has recently published that it made an underlying surplus (or profit) of £185 million last year.
The Chief Executive Officer of Clarion earns around £450,000 per year. This is nearly 3 times what the UK Prime Minister earns. If these changes, go ahead she could earn £45,000 per year in pension contributions, which is more than most staff in Clarion will earn in a year.
Members in Clarion have recently voted in an indicative ballot to take strike action over pensions and also in a separate ballot a majority of all members voted to take strike action over pay.
This branch Executive resolves to:-
1. Send a message of solidarity and support to all Clarion members facing this fire and rehire dismissal.
2. The branch secretary to send a strong message to the Clarion Chief Executive and Chair of the Board demanding they withdraw these threats. Copied to Council leaders and MPs of every authority that Clarion has a presence.
3. Sends an appropriate motion to UNISON Regional Councils, Community Conference and our National Delegate Conference.
4. Request that UNISON Labour Link does everything possible to put the case against these “fire and rehire” dismissals with the Labour Party in line with the “New Deal for Workers” policy commitments.
5. Organise and pay reasonable expenses for members to attend a lobby in October at the House of Commons of their MPs. To work with other branches and regions who have members impacted to encourage them to do the same.
6. To send information to all our branch unison shops (other London Housing Associations with publicity, asking for them to show solidarity and join appropriate and legal protest action that the branch deems necessary".

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