Union seeks arbitration over derecognition by housing association

Trade union Unite is to take Anchor Housing Services to arbitration over its decision not to recognise the union any longer.

The housing association, which is part of the Anchor Trust charity, has ended a four-year-old recognition agreement with Unite and says its staff forum offers a more effective way of communicating with employees.

Unite is to challenge the decision at the Central Arbitration Committee and seek statutory recognition for its 400 members.

Rachael Maskell, national officer for the community and non-profit sector at Unite, said: "If Anchor Housing Services is allowed to get away with derecognising a legitimate trade union, this will give it the green light to further depress the terms and conditions of its employees.

"There is an important point of principle at stake here."

But a spokeswoman for the Anchor Trust said that Unite represented fewer than 20 per cent of its housing services staff. "As a result, we no longer felt that it could fully represent the views of our employees," she said.

"We have built and continue to nurture more direct relationships with our employees and believe our staff forum offers a more appropriate and effective method for communicating with all our staff."

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