Important announcement from UNISON Greater London Housing Associations Branch Secretary; John Gray.
It is not a secret that Circle is about to announce plans for a significant restructure of staff and proposed changes to terms and conditions for practically everyone (including those on TUPE protections).
UNISON will be holding its own consultation meetings (with our sister unions Unite & GMB where appropriate) across the Group to discuss the proposals and what should be our response.
Can I make it clear that anything that Management put forward is a “proposal” at this stage and that full consultation with the trade unions will take place before anything is decided. Consultation is a two way street and nothing should be ruled “in” or “out” until the end of the process. This is also a legal requirement. UNISON will be drawing up questions and points of clarification and making use of our agreements (and legal powers) for full disclosure of all relevant financial and business information. We will also be seeking expert advice from our regional and national officers. There are no guarantees but we have in the past been successful in challenging and changing management proposals. I have no doubt that if we pull together we will be able to do the same again.
We shall be putting forward counter arguments and counter proposals. We need you and your colleagues to send us ideas and information to help us challenge and put forward practical alternatives or show that these changes are flawed. At the end of the process we will agree nothing on your behalf without there being a ballot of all members.
I am available by phone and email today (Thursday 8 October 2015) and Friday until 7pm. I am away next week on prearranged annual leave but back on Monday 19 October. If you need advice and support next week and you do not know who your local steward is then contact UNISONdirect on 0800 171 2194 and ask for details of your branch. Branch details for Cambridgeshire County can be found on our contact page.
As this announcement will no doubt cause great concern amongst our members, UNISON has arranged the following meetings to discuss and inform ALL Circle staff, but representation will only be available to UNISON trade union members. Please make all efforts to attend one meeting. If you are not a member of UNISON then join now by following this link: JOIN
Union consultation meetings will be held on:-
Bishop Stortford, Monday 19 October 3.30-5pm, Board Room, Number One Building
Old Ford, Tuesday 20 October 3-4 and 4-5pm, Venues to be confirmed
2PS, Wednesday 21 October, 12-1pm, Garden meeting room 4 (trying to get larger room. There will be a meeting this week in Corsica Street which will be arranged with Unite)
Merton, Wednesday 21 October, 3-4 and 4-5pm, Board Room, The Grange
Wherry/St Andrews, Thursday 22 October, 3-4 and 4-5pm Board room, Anglia House
Tower View, Friday 23 October, 12-1 and 1-2pm, Boston Room,
Mole Valley, Monday 26 October, 1-2 and 2-3pm, meeting room 1, Regent House
Mercian, Tuesday 27 October, 12-1 and 1-2pm, Acorn Room, Gee Business Centre.
A Joint union Stewards meetings will be held on Friday 9 October and also a Circle UNISON Meeting for Stewards and workplace contacts will be held in London (venue tbc) on Wednesday 4 November 12-3pm.
There will be other meetings arranged but I felt it was important to get some dates out as soon as possible. Let me know if your team or location needs a special meeting. Management have agreed to try and facilitate attendance at these meetings. These meetings are open to ALL CIRCLE staff regardless of trade union membership. However, individual advice and representation is only offered to union members.
Please encourage everyone to attend and participate in these meetings. If you know of members who are off sick or on maternity leave etc. let them know what is happening. If anyone wants to get more involved as a steward or can assist in anyway then please contact me to discuss.
Finally, encourage anyone who is not a union member to join ASAP (online joinunion.org or see attached form). It not only makes sense for them but the more of us in the union the better the deal we will always get. I want to JOIN UNISON
Circle UNISON Convenor