Sign up to our Editors Choice newsletter now! Click here

HCA accused of 'aggressive action' by union

Accessibility Menu

Menu Search

24dash - The UK's most up-to-date social housing and public sector news website

HCA accused of 'aggressive action' by union

24DASH.COM Logo

Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities

HCA accused of 'aggressive action' by union HCA accused of 'aggressive action' by union

Unite the Union has accused the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) of "aggressive action" towards its staff.

Unite claims that the HCA is in a "formal dispute" over pay and that management is seeking to "push through proposals" for restructuring. The union maintains that management is seeking to impose changes to the union ‘recognition agreement’ that amount to "an attack on the ability of unions to represent staff", and that the new arrangements would recognise just eight staff representatives covering a workforce of nine hundred.

The HCA has recently completed extensive restructuring after absorbing a number of different housing agencies, including the Tenant Services Authority (TSA). Following the absorbtion of the different agencies there were several recognitions in place stretching across three different unions. It is seeking a single agreement for all staff and has been in discussions with the union representatives since the summer.

It's understood discussions are at a stage where the HCA is prepared to sign a deal with the unions and that strong representation among staff has been encouraged by the agency.  

Richard Hill, deputy chief executive at the HCA, said: “The HCA has inherited a number of historic union arrangements and because we believe in strong union representation at the Agency, we are in discussion with union reps about establishing a single recognition agreement that covers all three unions and all staff members.”

Unite Housing workers branch chair, Paul Kershaw, said: “This aggressive action by management at the HCA comes at a time when staff already face uncertainty because of restructuring proposals. Rather than seeking to undermine unions representing the views of their staff they should be getting round the negotiating table to discuss jobs and pay."

Unite believes that in seeking to impose a new ‘recognition agreement’, the HCA has ignored the provisions of both existing recognition agreements which require six months’ notice of termination. This, it claims, places management in the highly contradictory position of asking the unions to sign up to a set of provisions whilst proving itself unable to adhere to them.

The union is now urging the HCA to rethink its approach to avoid a protracted and damaging battle over union organising, and to return to the negotiating table.

Comments

Login and comment using one of your accounts...