Housing charity workers vote to strike

8 October 2014

From Unite: Unite the unionUnite members at housing charity St Mungo’s Broadway have overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action over cuts to pay for new starters and changes to policies and procedures governing working conditions for all staff.

Results announced today (Wednesday 8 October) by Unite, the UK’s largest union, show that 95.9 per cent of Unite members at St Mungo’s Broadway voted in favour of taking industrial action. The dispute between the charity, the result of a recent merger between Broadway and St Mungo’s, and Unite is over a number of significant detrimental changes imposed by the new management through “retrospective consultation”.

The changes include downgraded policies and procedures, the removal of pay and job evaluation from collective bargaining, vastly inferior rates for new starters and for existing staff in re-structures, and repeated breaches of the union recognition agreement.

Nicky Marcus Unite regional officer said: “This ballot result is unprecedented in this sector. It shows how passionately our members feel about protecting not only their jobs but their clients and the future of their charity. Many have worked for St Mungo’s for decades. Some of them are actually ex-service users themselves and they, more than anyone, understand the value of the work there and are outraged at the imposed changes.

“Frontline staff know that you can’t run a charity caring for the most vulnerable people in society as though it’s a city bank. They won’t stand by and watch the heart and soul being ripped out of their organisation.

“Today 355 members said ‘enough is enough, we will not stand by and watch an arrogant, controlling management wipe out decades of a hard fought, second to none reputation built on quality, decency and respect’. We have repeatedly asked management to sit down with us to negotiate. Management, in response, simply repeat that they do not accept we are in dispute. Perhaps they will now.”

Members will meet at Unite HQ in Holborn today (Wednesday 8 October) where Unite general secretary Len McCluskey will address them and strike dates will be determined through a democratic vote.

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