Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Centrepoint staff threaten to strike

September 16 2011
Senior leadership team isn’t cutting its pay, despite cuts and job losses among the lower paid, complains union rep


Strike action is being threatened by staff at leading homelessness charity Centrepoint over proposed cutbacks, following government funding losses.

Centrepoint staff and members of union Unite have voted 82 per cent in favour of industrial action in a dispute over unevenly distributed pay cuts and job loss at the charity. Unite claims that this has resulted in frontline staff bearing the brunt of restructuring proposals.

Centrepoint is under the patronage of the Duke of Cambridge and has been hit by a 27 per cent decrease in overall local authority funding. The latest cuts not only affect staff members but also the 1,200 young people helped by Centrepoint each year.

Matt Smith, Unite Regional Officer, told The Pavement that out of 121 posts there will be at least 116 affected either through pay cuts or redundancies with up to 28 job losses expected.

“Our members are very concerned about the service that will be left if draconian cuts go through,” he said. “The irony is that with these cuts some of our members will have to look at alternative employment and there is a major concern about what will this do to Centrepoint. They’re restricting the frontline workers so we want to make sure the cuts are distributed as fairly as possible.”

“The senior leadership team isn’t taking any cuts in pay but other members are. You can’t just simply dismiss the lowest paid; we should be in it together to mitigate the cuts.”

The charity claims that Unite have not provided any “constructive counter proposals’ to the restructuring and that they were currently engaged in “full and meaningful consultation” with staff having explored all other options.

A spokeswoman for Centrepoint said: “Like many other charities, we are responding to cuts in government funding, which is necessary to continue our commitment to delivering high quality support to vulnerable young people.” Smith revealed that communications between the two parties had broken down but was optimistic about reaching a solution.