Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Strikers reach a deal

December 02 2014
A planned 10-day strike by workers at a homeless charity was called off after an 11th-hour settlement

A planned 10-day strike by workers at the homeless charity was called off after an eleventh-hour settlement was agreed between the charity’s management and the Unite union.

Staff at St Mungo’s Broadway (SMB) homeless charity had already taken industrial action earlier in November, after the after a new management team imposed cuts to pay and conditions.

The changes included a £5,000 pay cut for new employees and reduced pay grades for some existing roles.

Some 680 Unite members had taken part in the action, which saw 19 picket lines and dozens of protests at the town halls of councils responsible for commissioning SMB services. An Early Day Motion in the House of Commons further intensified the political pressure on the charity.

Unite stated that SMB management reversed their decision to change pay, terms and conditions for frontline workers after 10 hours of talks.

Unite regional officer Nicky Marcus said: “This is a significant victory not just for staff, but for the service users our members work so tirelessly to help. It is a testament to what can be achieved when workers stand shoulder to shoulder and say enough is enough.

“Going forward, we will be working with the management of St Mungo’s Broadway to ensure that the charity honours its commitments.”

Howard Sinclair, chief executive of SMB, said: “The serious challenges we face as an organisation and in our sector haven’t gone away, and the money available to pay for services for homeless people remains reduced, while demand for these services increases.

“Our agreement with Unite is that we are both committed to working together for the benefit of clients, staff and stakeholders, and are facing those challenges so that our exceptionally dedicated staff can continue to feel proud of working for an organisation whose priority remains providing the highest quality services for our clients.”

The charity is a merger between St Mungo’s, one of London’s largest homeless charities, and the smaller Broadway, who joined forces earlier this year.

The news comes as calls grow for homeless charities to adopt the living wage, of £7.85 outside of London, and £9.15 per hour within the capital – significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.

Research released by KPMG, shows that 22 per cent of the UK workforce earns less than a Living Wage.