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Equinox Care charity faces strike action over plans to...

Equinox Care charity faces strike action over plans to slash wages by up to £6,000-a-year

22 May 2013

Workers at Equinox Care – the charity dealing with substance abuse problems – have voted for two days of strike action over pay cuts of up to £6,000-a-year for many staff.

Unite, the country’s largest union which represents more than half the workforce, said that ballot result was ‘a massive vote of no confidence’ in the chief executive Bill Puddicombe who recently received ‘a small amount of performance related pay’, while his staff face pay cuts of 25 per cent

The management is proposing the cuts for frontline workers directly working with some of the most vulnerable people in society – and, as a result, most staff are facing cuts of between £4,000 to £6,000-a-year.

Two separate 24-hour strikes will be called on 29 May and 12 June, following the ballot in which members voted by 98 per cent for strike action. Further strike action is on the cards, unless the dispute is settled.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: "Staff have had enough of the current leadership of Equinox Care led by Bill Puddicombe. This is more than a vote for industrial action and should send a clear message to the board of trustees that staff no longer have any faith in the CEO.

“This action is a result of management’s failure to engage with its staff and their union representatives over the proposals to cut pay.

“We would much rather be sorting this out around the negotiating table than on the picket line.

“Management has declined Unite's offer to go to the conciliation service, Acas for talks which demonstrates their arrogant lack in interest to solve this in a rational manner.”

Last month, Unite criticised Bill Puddicombe being offered - for the first time in Equinox Care’s history - ‘a small amount of performance related pay’.

Equinox Care is a social care organisation which offers specialist care to vulnerable men and women with alcohol, drug and mental health problems in various residential and community-based services.

ENDS

For further information please contact Jamie Major on 07879 692021 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.