UNISON calls for Catalyst talks

Inside Housing story about derecognition [external link]

Unison has called on a housing association board to reverse a decision to derecognise the union, saying it has been trying to meet with the landlord to discuss complaints of bullying.

Colin Inniss, regional full-time officer at the trade union, said he had been trying to arrange a meeting with Catalyst chief executive Rod Cahill to discuss the ‘bullying of stewards’ and the landlord’s ‘poor industrial relations record’.

John Gray, housing association branch secretary at Unison, said that derecognising the union was an ‘attack on human rights’ and that the situation ‘has the potential to be an extremely prolonged and damaging dispute the likes of which has not been seen before in our sector’. Recognised unions are able to negoitate with employers through a process known as ‘collective bargaining.’

‘I call the board of Catalyst to step in and withdraw this union termination letter and facilitate urgent talks with Unison and management before this gets totally and utterly out of hand,’ Mr Gray said.

Chief executive of the 21,000-home London-based housing association Mr Cahill said that he wrote to Unison with the decision because of a decline in membership at the housing association.

Colin Inniss, regional full time officer at the trade union, said: ‘I have been trying for several weeks to meet with Mr Cahill to discuss complaints about bullying at Catalyst. One day after I chased a response we get this letter announcing that they are terminating the recognition agreement, without even the courtesy of a meeting to explain why they are thinking of doing this.’

Catalyst members newsletter December 2014

Catalyst Press Release 16 October
Catalyst Press Release 22 October