Monday, February 15, 2010

Dear Kate ...letter to CEO Notting Hill Housing Trust

Kate Davies, Chief Executive, Notting Hill Housing Trust, Hammersmith, London, W6 8DL

Dear Kate

Campaign for Dignity & Respect for staff at Notting Hill Housing Trust

I am not easily shocked but I was when I learnt of the imposed cuts to basic staff terms and conditions at Notting Hill Housing Trust. Not only that but the refusal to even negotiate with UNISON over these cuts is also completely unacceptable. Collective bargaining between employer and unions is a basic human right and anyone who believes that merely “consulting” on a “like it or lump it” basis is acceptable good practice is living in the dark ages.

The refusal to agree to allow trade union representation to your board is even more utterly inexplicable. It makes people wonder what on earth you have got to hide?

While the failure to agree to even trying to seek arbitration through ACAS is just utterly appalling and deeply damaging.

Notting Hill used to be a beacon of excellence to the sector. In public housing it also had an incredibly proud history of being a socially responsible landlord. It has now apparently decided to join “a race to the bottom” for their staff while still paying its top tier of management huge amounts of money.

This sort of behaviour not only rots an organisation from within but also causes dismay to those of us who genuinely support accountable and fair Housing Associations. Housing organisations that treat their staff as rubbish will also tend to treat their residents in the same way.

It is no wonder the wider sector has such an awful image problem and so many Housing Associations are so deeply distrusted and disliked (...and I am being very , very “polite” here) by so many residents, councillors, assembly members and MPs of all political parties.

I urge you to reconsider the imposition of such nonsensical and retrograde measures on your workforce. Please just return to the negotiating table and begin meaningful talks.

A strike ballot of UNISON members is taking place following a 95% vote by your traditionally moderate members of staff in favour of industrial action in a consultative ballot.

I pledge my full support to my fellow trade unionists at Notting Hill Housing Group.

Yours sincerely

(will readers please send similar letters to £165K per year Kate and send messages of support to members via infoATunisonhablondonDOTorg   Also CC your letters to your local Cllrs, MP's, Assembly members and MEP's)
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