Shelter Scotland staff to strike over pay


A dispute over pay will lead to frontline staff walking out on Tuesday 

12th December 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Shelter Scotland staff are to take strike action next Tuesday over changes in pay for frontline staff.

Staff in Glasgow will join colleagues in London and Sheffield in three days of industrial action as well as staff from smaller offices across the UK.

Unite staff were balloted last week with 69.2% in favour of calling the strike.

Workers are incensed at changes to their pay structure which could lead to pay packets being lightened by up to £5,000 for new starters and £3,000 for existing staff, according to the union. 

Unite regional officer Peter Storey said: “Shelter’s frontline support and advice workers are the lifeblood of the charity and deserve better than pay cuts while those with huge salaries at the top see their pay protected.

“Cutting pay for some of our lowest paid staff is simply not necessary. Shelter is in a healthy financial position and management need to get back around the table to negotiate a fair settlement.”

According to the union, the new pay proposals risk creating a two-tiered workforce of frontline and non-frontline staff. It also warned that it could lead to a “cut rate organisation”.

“Our members are fearful that cut rate pay will lead to a cut rate organisation as managers struggle to recruit experienced replacements on the new lower rates of pay,” said Storey.

An estimated 400 staff at Shelter are Unite members – almost a third of its total workforce.  

Campbell Robb (right), the £128,000 chief executive of Shelter, said he was “disappointed” by the strike action, in a statement first issued earlier this month. 
“At Shelter we aim to pay a broadly typical market salary across all roles and we benchmark salaries regularly to help us achieve this,” he said.

“In doing so we have found we currently pay staff working in advice and support well above the salary for similar roles elsewhere, which with funding cuts and more competition for donors we cannot sustain. 

“This leaves us with a simple but painful choice: keep the higher pay levels, cut our services and make some roles redundant, or maintain the number of people we help and reduce salaries for new staff.

“We always strive to be the best employer we can be, but in this instance we feel we have to put our ability to help those who need it first.”