Friday, 12 November 2010
If Miss Davies agrees with her partner that the sum of £310,000 is 'not really a lot' then perhaps she might like to revisit her decision to remove NHHG's family friendly policies? In terms of overall value the slight cost of them would seem like the bargain of the century in comparrison.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
“It’s very encouraging to see non-union members supporting UNISON’s campaign to defend Family Friendly Policies at Notting Hill Housing Trust”, said UNISON Regional Organiser, Colin Inniss. “It contradicts the Trust’s claim that most members of staff are happy with imposed change. Unison’s campaign will continue until the Trust realises that cutting family-friendly benefits demoralises staff and has a negative impact on service delivery”.
UNISON’s dispute with Notting Hill Housing Trust is now in its third month. A day of strike action was taken on 15th March; further strike action is planned for May. In an effort to resolve the dispute, UNISON has referred it to ACAS for mediation.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
The lobbies will take place every day this week between 12 and 2pm so please come along and offer your support.
Monday, 3 May 2010
A cost-cutting proposal presented by UNISON to Notting Hill Housing Trust (NHHT) has been rejected by the Trust’s Board. Additional meetings with NHHT’s Corporate Management Team have also ended without any agreement being reached.
The Trust’s Chief Executive, Kate Davies, has ruled out any further concessions on the changes to the terms and conditions that were imposed on all staff, without UNISON’s agreement, on 1st March,
The Trust’s cuts to terms and conditions have completely removed paid carers’ leave and flexitime for all staff. Redeployment pay protections and relocation allowances have also been cut by 75%.
UNISON, Regional Organiser, Colin Inniss, said: “The Trust’s Chief Executive, Kate Davies, expressed an opinion that these cuts to terms and conditions do not go far enough. That is a frightening concept for all of our members and one which should also worry tenants. Management by imposition demoralises a workforce and leaves UNISON with no other alternative than to continue our dispute with NHHT.
This will involve a series of Lunchtime lobbies of the Trust’s Head Office in Hammersmith’s followed by 2 days of industrial action.
For further info please see UNISON's Housing branch website and John's Labour Blog
Thursday, 1 April 2010
John Gray was there as Vice-Chair of the London UNISON Labour Link committee and had brought with him two UNISON members from Notting Hill Housing Trust who had been on Strike earlier this month. Strike action is unheard of in our traditionally moderate sector yet members voted 93% in favour to protest at their treatment by the CEO who is trying to destroy family friendly policies at Notting Hill and slash basic staff terms and conditions while paying herself obscene amounts of money and perks (such as £11,000 per year car allowance).
Monday, 29 March 2010
Whilst UNISON and its members remain optimistic about the prospect of future discussions there is growing frustration due to the time that it is taking for talks to materialise. We will keep you posted on all future developments.
You may also be interested to read this highly informative piece by Guardian contributor Dave Hill .
Monday, 22 March 2010
Friday, 19 March 2010
A survey of 2,000 employees by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows workers are as likely to have caring responsibilities for a partner, relative, and friend as they are for children. Focus on Caring at Work finds a third (34%) of employees have some form of caring responsibilities, with 20% citing children. However, 12% cite relatives, 6% their partner, and 2% a friend.
And the survey also shows there is little difference between the sexes in their caring responsibilities, with 36% of women citing caring responsibilities and 33% of men.
Ben Willmott, CIPD senior public policy adviser, says: "The survey highlights the challenges many employees have in managing what are often a range of caring responsibilities. The proportion of people having to balance work while caring for their partner or spouse, parents, and other relatives will increase as life expectancy continues to rise and as people work longer to save for retirement.
"This is why the CIPD is calling for the right to request flexible working to be extended to all employees, rather than just parents, by 2013. This is not about employers putting the interests of employees before the business, it is just about them seriously considering whether they can accommodate flexible working requests in order to recruit and retain a diverse workforce."
Focusing purely on childcare, 72% of mothers and 43% of fathers have changed how or where they work to play a more active role in their children's upbringing. Of these:
• Almost a third of working parents (31%) report they have worked flexibly to become more active parents
• Twenty-eight per cent have worked shorter hours and 23% have worked from home
• However, sixteen per cent have gone as far as changing their jobs to become a more active parent
Willmott continues: "The survey suggests that the majority of employers are already providing flexible working options to allow working parents to play an active role in the upbringing of their children. Employers that don't provide flexible working options for working parents risk losing valuable employees.
"However, our survey also indicates that employees with other caring responsibilities such as aging or sick parents and partners will increasingly expect the same sort of work-life balance opportunities as working parents."
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Friday, 12 March 2010
On Tuesday 9th March government Housing Minister John Healey met with UNISON Labour Link members including a delegation from Notting Hill Housing Trust. Mr Healey fielded several questions around impending strike action at Notting Hill and was visibly concerned when told of the plight of members working at the trust. Mr Healey was alarmed to hear about the lack of consultation, removal of flexible working and paid carers leave. He emphasised the fundamental importance of employers treating their workers with respect and wished Notting Hill staff good luck in their efforts to be heard. The Notting Hill delegates were heartened to hear the words of support offered by the minister and are glad that he will be monitoring the situation very closely.
I would like to offer my full support and solidarity to UNISON members in Notting Hill Housing Trust who are taking strike action on Monday.
Our members in housing associations like Notting Hill work incredibly hard, often for inadequate reward, across the country to provide vital public services in our communities. Notting Hill’s treatment of its own workforce is scandalous – cutting family-friendly benefits which to you are vital, and which don’t cost the organisation much at all.
Notting Hill clearly don’t recognise the clear link between how they treat their staff and the quality of service they provide – or if they do recognise that link, they don’t appear to care about either their staff or their tenants.
Either way, all UNISON has asked for from the beginning has been to sit down with Notting Hill and try to reach an agreement that everyone can sign up to. They have refused all along.
So I salute our members in Notting Hill, who are taking a very brave step, standing up for what they think is right.
I wish you the best of luck.
Monday, 8 March 2010
The UNISON National Housing Forum met on 3 March 2010. It represents housing workers from across the UK, based in local authorities, ALMOS and Housing Associations. The forum was updated on the dispute at Notting Hill Housing Trust, including the reasons for the dispute and the recent resounding ballot result. It expressed its strong support for UNISON members at NHHT and wished them success in their forthcoming industrial action. Forum members were told about the proposed strike date of 15 March 2010 and those who are able to would like to support the picket lines on the day. Forum members have asked to be kept updated and for any Branch bulletins about the industrial action to be forwarded to them via UNISON national officers. They were also provided with details of the blog/twitter feed where up to date information can be found and were asked to contribute to the letter writing campaign to Kate Davies.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Members voted unanimously for a one day strike on Monday 15 March. UNISON is encouraging staff at Notting Hill to join UNISON and take part in the action. The branch will be issuing advice to members wishing to show solidarity with the Notting Hill members.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
During the ballot period, UNISON members at NHHT have received messages of support from UNISON members in other London housing associations, other UNISON branches and other unions. In addition delegations of NHHT UNISON members will be meeting with local politicians, both councillors and MPs. A letter writing campaign to NHHT Chief Executive (Kate Davies) has also taken place.
UNISON has written to the Tenant Services Agency and the Homes and Communities Agency to express its concern about the employer’s high handed attitude to its work force.
Messages of support can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and to http://twitter.com/unisonhousing.
The ballot for strike action has arisen from NHHT imposing cuts to terms and conditions of employment which will have a negative effect on female staff with caring responsibilities (reducing carers’ leave and ending flexi-time). The employer’s own equality impact assessment has acknowledged this but the changes are going ahead anyway. Carers’ leave cost the organisation £30,000 in 2008 which is a small fraction of the Chief Executive’s current salary. Her most recently published salary is £165,868 (2008/2009) which was a 7% increase on the previous year and included a bonus of just under £11,000.
Strike action is very much the last resort. The NHHT Board has previously ignored a 300+ signature petition from staff, a 95% consultative ballot vote in favour of further action by UNISON members and a request to meet with ACAS. There does not appear to be any desire to negotiate by the employer.
Unison Housing Associations Branch Secretary, Mary Powell states “It is highly unusual for UNISON members in London housing associations to take industrial action, however NHHT has left its staff with little choice. The ballot result is clear. The Branch and its wider membership are four square behind UNISON members at NHHT. The employer does still however have an opportunity to return to the negotiating table so long as they genuinely want to reach an agreement”
Members at the branch annual general meeting sent a message of support and solidarity to Notting Hill members. Speaker Richard McEwan from Tower Hamlets UCU inspired members with his description of the successful campaign against cuts to services and jobs at Tower Hamlets college.
Members held a mass meeting and walked out at the start of a three month campaign to prevent job cuts and protect services. Over 1000 people took part in a demonstration in support of the action. Union members contacted local community organisations and ran a co-ordinated escalating action. The campaign was boosted by the messages of support and the generosity of the local community and other trade union branches
Friday, 19 February 2010
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Management has IMPOSED CUTS to flexitime and carers’ leave which will have most effect on female staff with caring responsibilities. Further reductions in terms and conditions include a reduction in salary protection following re-organisation and cuts to relocation expenses. This is at a time when re-organisation and office relocation are anticipated.
Management has REFUSED TO NEGOTIATE WITH UNISON, despite a petition signed by over 300 staff. They have also REFUSED TO WORK WITH ACAS. Now UNISON is balloting members on industrial action. Already members have voted in a consultative ballot – 95% in favour of further action.
In 2009 Kate Davies, Chief Executive at Notting Hill Housing Trust, chaired a group of “experts” who produced a report for Conservative Party think tank the Centre for Social Justice. This body is headed by Iain Duncan Smith and supported by David Cameron. The report recommended ending secure and assured tenancies.
Notting Hill Housing Trust Chairman Paul Hodgkinson is also a Trustee of Parenting UK which promotes family friendly policies. This is ironic considering the family unfriendly policies being imposed on his staff at Notting Hill.
UNISON members must make a stand at Notting Hill Housing Trust – other housing associations and housing support services in London are also threatening to impose cuts to terms and conditions e.g. increasing the working week whilst freezing salaries, representing real terms pay cuts.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY COMPLETING AND SENDING THIS LETTER C.E.O. KATE DAVIES. YOUR WORKPLACE COULD BE NEXT