Branch Secretary : suz.muna.unite@gmail.com
  

Please Sign Our Petition

The Unite Housing Workers Branch has today launched a petition in an urgent attempt to stop the redundancy of member Andrew Bindi at a time when his prospects for securing alternative employment are almost zero.

 

Please sign our petition here.

Please also email MTVHA Chief Executive Geeta Nanda to condemn the sacking. 

 

 

Andrew Bindi is an employee of MTVHA and is threatened with redundancy on Wednesday 1st April 2020, flying in the face of government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and at a time when the prospects for securing alternative employment are almost zero. 

 

The unwanted compulsory redundancy is based on a dubious rationale which places the organisation in legal jeopardy, and is compounded by MTVHA’s failure to explore multiple suggested opportunities to redeploy him if the business considered the deletion of his role essential. 

 

Andrew is a 52-year-old man with five children: two 11-year-old twin boys; a daughter at University of Nottingham; and two grown-ups (26 and 28 years’ old). He also has a mortgage. 

 

Andrew is also a dedicated hard-working individual, who plays a pivotal role between the partnership of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH), Barnet Council and Barratt London in the regeneration of West Hendon. In addition, he is MTVH’s lead for the delivery of Section106 planning obligations. In this role, Andrew acts as a conduit between Barnet Council’s various stakeholders in delivering Employment Skills Training and Development outcomes. 

 

Andrew joined MTVH (then Metropolitan HA) on 6th March 2017 as an Employment Skills and Outreach Officer on a temporary contract. His excellent work in the community of West Hendon, and at the community hub which he managed, earned him recognition as a talented figure and led to the change of his contract from temporary to permanent. He was subsequently quickly promoted to the managerial post of Employment Lead for the entire London region. 

 

Through dedication, hard work and the creation of regeneration programmes and activities, Andrew has turned around a failing estate where residents had previously been marching with banners against their landlord and the regeneration. His work was so successful that West Hendon has been adopted as the model to be replicated across other MTVH regeneration sites. Andrew has also shared best practices across other MTVH sites, replicating programmes and activities to better support residents and social value provision.

 

 

When Metropolitan Housing Trust Ltd was amalgamated with Thames Valley Housing Association Ltd (TVHA) in 2018, an inevitable restructuring followed. Unfortunately, Andrew’s face did not seem to fit in the new organisation and he was served a redundancy notice in March. 

 

We would challenge the redundancy on several grounds including that his work continues. In fact, the work he does is needed even more than ever, as people lose their jobs due to coronavirus. A substantial amount of his role delivering employment skills training and development in the regeneration site in West Hendon still exists. Further, there are enough funds to cover his post as 50% of his salary is match funded by Barnet council as part of the contractual agreement for discharging the council’s Section 106 planning obligations. This is a contract which has not ceased. 

 

Recently, the government has asked employers not to make people redundant, and to make every effort to keep people in employment, and in any case, it is every employer’s legal duty to work to try to find suitable alternative employment for an employee if they decide to cease their particular role. MTVH has made no efforts in this respect.

 

The whole situation has been managed incredibly badly by MTVH. The process that they followed is suspect. There is a strong suspicion of favouritism and cronyism in the recruitment process. Key documents requested by Andrew to support his position have not been forthcoming. 

 

A meeting was held with MTVH on 5th March to discuss Andrew’s case, and this started with the announcement that Andrew’s redundancy letter had already been written and would be issued straight after the meeting, thus demonstrating that the meeting was a sham.

 

MTVH knows that Andrew will not be able to secure another job soon, due to the current restrictions imposed by coronavirus. Yet they continue with his redundancy. No effort has been made to find work for Andrew within the organisation, despite having a huge surplus and the fact that new and existing key workstreams have been put on hold due to the merger and the restructuring.

 

Andrew is not the only member of staff at MTVH who has been treated this way but his case is the most acute with his dismissal imminent. We are appealing to the highest levels of MTVHA to intervene and prevent a calamity for Andrew that will also generate negative publicity for MTVHA. 

 

To behave with such callous disregard for a staff member in this time of crisis will undermine public trust and damage the reputation of the whole social housing sector. The branch has therefore written to Geeta Nanda, CEO of MTVHA to ask that she intervene to prevent the redundancy. Her response is awaited.

 

Comments :

A very disappointing way to treat a staff who has been very dedicated to his work. It's a shame that a company of such huge status will behave in such manner, particularly at a time of a pandemic and when the country is experiencing employment freeze


By Nyasha on 2020-03-30 11:39:29

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