Branch Secretary :

Clarion Housing: Unite recommends rejection of pay offer

Offer represents real terms pay cut


Clarion housing has offered staff an increase of 2.5% on basic pay rates.  Inflation is currently running at 3.1% measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI) and all analysts project inflation to rise this year so the offer represents a real terms pay cut.  Unite reps are recommending staff to reject this offer in any consultation.  Unite continues to call for 4% increases in the sector, this figure was overwhelmingly agreed by Unite members in Clarion.


Healthy surpluses


Unite regrets that Unison is recommending acceptance of this real terms pay cut.  Both constituent parts of Clarion generate healthy surpluses and there is no evidence that this move is driven by financial necessity.  Taken with the move to cut sick pay, which management were forced to withdraw because of the strength of opposition and Unite’s campaign, it looks to be part of an offensive against staff terms and conditions on the part of the new executive team. 


Last year Affinity Sutton recorded a 15% increase in its surplus bringing it to £145 million post tax.  The surplus at Circle Housing increased by 27% last year bringing it to £85.8 million.  Senior executives have received inflation beating pay increases.  No case has been made as to why staff should face increased hardship.


Many staff suffer real financial hardship


Staff have expressed anger at the offer to Unite.  Many suffer real financial hardship and there is concern that management have not seriously justified the offer, seemingly treating their staff with contempt.   Further concerns include exclusions from the offer for staff on disciplinaries or within the performance procedure.  One comment was that management should pay all staff the rate for the job, the increase is not a bonus.


Affinity Sutton Repairs, Centra, Community Building Services and Grange are not included in this management offer. 


Channels of communication


We regret that Clarion propose to end formal recognition of Unite in the new organisation as part of the restructuring process.  We have explained that this is a particularly bad time to disrupt channels of communication and sends out a very negative message about the direction of travel chosen by the new management team.  With or without formal recognition, Unite will continue to represent Clarion staff. 


Unite is the largest trade union in the country and is experienced at representing members in sectors with extremely union hostile managements.  But we appeal to the executive team to do the sensible thing and commit to continuing to work with Unite on the many issues the new organisation faces.


Paul Kershaw





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