Senior executives at Action for Children were being urged to resolve a long-running pay dispute through the conciliation service Acas today (Monday 15 February), as members of Britain’s largest union, Unite overwhelmingly backed strike action.
71 per cent of Unite members taking part in the industrial action ballot at the charity voted yes to strike action, while a massive 88 per cent gave their backing to industrial action short of strike.
The strong vote in favour displays a depth of anger which cannot continue to be ignored said Unite, as it called on management to enter talks at Acas to avoid any disruption to essential services that would be the result of industrial action.
Senior executives at Action for Children have now imposed a one per cent award for 2015/16 as part of a deeply divisive pay offer which sees 40 per cent of the workforce excluded from this cost of living award.
Managers have also removed contractual pay increments for new starters and cut mileage rates.
Today’s strike vote comes as Unite and Unison begin contacting the charity’s celebrity supporters - including Jenny Agutter, Sir Trevor McDonald and Angela Rippon – to seek their support in the pay dispute that has so far lasted over a year.
Commenting Unite national officer Sally Kosky said: “Senior executives at Action for Children cannot continue to ignore the growing anger among its workforce. Many dedicated workers at the charity have seen their wages virtually frozen for the last five years, while the number of senior managers earning over £70,000 has gone up to 21.
“Staff helping vulnerable families up and down the country have grown increasingly frustrated with management’s high handed approach. It does nothing for morale and nothing to recognise the invaluable contribution they make day in day out.
“We would urge Action for Children’s management to recognise the strength of feeling and drop its refusal to Acas talks, so that we can hammer out a pay deal that properly rewards the hard work of its loyal workforce.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.