Shelter strike called off at eleventh hour

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Last minute reprieve as staff set to strike 

16th December 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

An eleventh hour deal has narrowly averted strike action at one of the country’s leading charities.

Shelter staff were set to take three days of strike action from today (Tuesday) across the UK, including at their branch in Glasgow.

However, a last minute deal thrashed out between union officials and management of the homelessness charity has led to a suspension of action.

Unite balloted members on industrial action over changes to Shelter's pay structure.

Effectively it meant many of the lower paid staff would have their salaries reviewed with the possibility of receiving lower pay.

A fresh offer made by Shelter management now includes improved rates of pay for new starters and the withdrawal of the controversial proposals to review staff pay.

The new offer will be put to members in a ballot.

Unite regional officer Peter Storey said: “After intense negotiations at Acas, Shelter management have put forward an improved offer.

“It represents a significant improvement on previous offers by the charity and will be put to our members in a ballot over the coming days.”

The charity, which employs 1,300 people across the UK, including those working in its shops, was making changes that could lead to pay cuts of up to £5,000 a year for new advice and support workers and £3,000 for existing front-line staff. It said that the pay of existing front-line staff was being guaranteed only until 2016.

Unite said that in addition to cuts in salary for new starters, the charity was also seeking to implement a separate pay scale for existing front-line advice and support workers to that used for staff not working on the front line.

The union said the planned changes meant that some advice workers could earn up to £3,000 a year less than other Shelter employees on the same grade but in different roles.

A ballot of members is being organised regarding new proposals tabled by Shelter.

If the new deal is not accepted, the week-long strike scheduled for January will go ahead.