Workers at the homelessness charity St Mungo’s are gearing up for three days of strike action from 16 to 18 March 2020 inclusive, after last ditch talks, under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas, failed to resolve a row over job security and a reinstatement of race to the bottom terms and conditions.
Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest trade union, which represents over 500 members at the homeless charity, is now calling for the CEO, Howard Sinclair, to step down immediately after he and his team rejected a sound and sensible solution, proposed at Acas, to settle the long running dispute over changes to the junior staffing cap agreement.
Unite has accused St Mungo’s senior management of pulling the rug out from under workers, when it tore up the junior staffing cap agreement, in a bid to bring in a cheaper workforce in May 2019.
Local authority commissioners of St Mungo’s homelessness services and clients are warned to expect some disruption during the strike and are urged to put pressure on the charity’s senior management to accept the new junior staffing proposal.
Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “Unite is bitterly disappointed that St Mungo’s senior management has rejected a sound and sensible solution, proposed at Acas, to settle our long running dispute over changes senior management made to the junior staffing cap agreement.
“Our members now feel they have no option but to walk out. Their clients’ safety is their priority which is why they feel so strongly about standing up and defending the services they deliver.
“This strike isn’t about money, it’s about protecting jobs and defending the safety and high quality services our members deliver.
“Without the junior staffing cap there is nothing to stop the CEO from bringing in a cheaper workforce on lower pay and worse terms and conditions.
“CEO Howard Sinclair has lost the trust of our members, who are on the frontline dealing with some of society’s most marginalised and vulnerable people, he must step down immediately.”
Failure to agree on the junior staffing cap is a major sticking point for the union’s members, but a further seven issues are still in dispute, including the charity’s disproportionate and unfair use of disciplinary procedures and onerous sickness policy.