July 14, 2024

Staff at homeless charity St Mungo’s are to launch a month-long strike from Tuesday in a dispute over pay.

Members of trade union Unite will mount picket lines outside offices in London, Brighton, Bristol, and Oxford.

The union said workers were “taking a stand” following a “pitiful” offer of a 2.25% pay rise.

St Mungo’s has said it cannot afford to meet the union’s demands and called the strike “unprecedented and disproportionate”.

The dispute relates to pay for the last financial year, 2021/22.

The charity says it has already applied a rise of 1.75% to salaries in that year, but that Unite has asked for a backdated and consolidated rise of 10%.

It says that meeting the request for the last and current financial year would cost a total of £9.7m and leave it not “financially viable as an organisation”.

It adds that all eligible staff have already received an average rise of 5.5% for the financial year 2022/23 and that some have also received a £700 payment to help them with the cost of living.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Charity workers who should be on the streets helping the homeless have reached breaking point.

“Instead of seizing the initiative to end the dispute, management’s decision to offer a pitiful 2.25% has spectacularly backfired.”

The strike action is set to begin on Tuesday and last for 28 days, ending on 26 June.

St Mungo’s chief executive Emma Haddad said that, taken together, the offers already made equate to a rise of “at least 10% for those colleagues on the lowest salaries”.

“This is what Unite has been asking for but voted against it,” she said.

She described the four-week strike as “unprecedented and disproportionate” but added that “my door remains open to Unite, every day during the strike”.

 

Credit: Christy Cooney
BBC News

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