Three day strike to shut down charity

Shelter strike

The strike could seriously affect the organisation’s ability to offer advice and support to the homeless 

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29th November 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A charity is facing crippling strike action in the run up to Christmas.

More than 400 members of Unite will walk out for three days beginning on Tuesday, 11 December in a dispute over pay.

The strike could seriously affect the organisation’s ability to offer advice and support to the homeless and people in precarious housing in the pre-Christmas period.

If it goes ahead, the 72 hour strike follows what the union has branded a “derisory” pay offer of 1%, plus a one off, 1% payment.

Unite members are seeking an increase of 3.5% backdated to April 2018, or a flat rate of a £1,100 increase for all workers. 

According to the union Shelter’s workforce has suffered a real terms pay cut of 11% since 2010 because of a series of below inflation pay increases.

Shelter recorded a surplus of £1 million last year and has £15.7m in reserves.

If there is no resolution, Unite has promised to hold more action next year. 

Regional officer Peter Storey said: “Our members are not greedy. They are not looking to get richer, they are just trying to keep their heads above water. 

“Unite’s members at Shelter have faced a year on year pay squeeze since the beginning of the decade and this year’s derisory pay offer was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. 

“It is entirely unfair that the wages of Shelter workers have been declining at the same time that the charity’s reserves have been increasing. 

“The management at Shelter should stop trying to pressurise our members not to go on strike and instead enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said:  “We are really disappointed that Unite have taken this decision to take industrial action over the charity’s 2% pay offer.

“It’s a critical time of year for those who are homeless and who depend on our services and we are hoping that planned talks will reach a successful outcome.

“Of course, we respect the right of those who choose to strike and we will be doing everything we can to protect the services we know people will be relying on this winter."