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Social Charity Withdraw from Voluntary Union Recognition Agreement

28 Nov 2018

Scottish charity, Cornerstone, has withdrawn from its voluntary recognition agreement with Unison.

Cornerstone, which employs 2,200 people across Scotland, provides vital care and support services for adults, young people and children across Scotland who live with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism, dementia and other support needs.

The charity’s Board informed Unison today of its decision, taken after careful consideration and with no small measure of regret, to withdraw from the recognition agreement. The Board says it had no alternative after the deterioration of the relationship began adversely impacting colleagues and the people they support.

Edel Harris, Chief Executive of Cornerstone, said: “Our 24 year relationship with Unison has broken down to such an extent that it is having an adverse impact on colleagues and diverting senior management resource away from delivering on our strategy, at a critical point in its implementation.

“Despite our genuine attempts, in the last two years, to get back onto a more constructive footing, Unison has refused to change its approach and we have no alternative but to withdraw from our voluntary recognition agreement. 

“Mis-leading and hostile statements from Unison, have caused alarm among our employees and, more importantly, raised unnecessary concern among the parents and guardians of those for whom we care, which is unforgivable.

“Our voluntary recognition agreement with Unison had the common objective of maintaining good industrial relations to further Cornerstone’s aims. Given, we are striving for better recognition and reward for those who work in social care, and do an incredible job of looking after some of the most vulnerable in our society, we are bewildered by Unison’s continued intransigence towards Cornerstone. 

“This decision has no effect on how any of our colleagues, including those who wish to remain members of Unison or any other union, will be treated. We remain fully committed to listen and represent the views and interests of all Cornerstone colleagues, through positive channels of information and consultation, direct communications, and regular team briefings.  We will continue to engage proactively with our Engagement Forum, which provides a voice for all of our people, union and non-union members alike.”