St Mungo’s decision to withdraw from managing its homeless hostel in Hitchin raises big questions about how the homeless in North Hertfordshire will fare, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 29 January).
Unite, which represents the hostel’s five project workers, was highly critical of St Mungo’s decision to pull out from managing the 17-bed Nightingale Road hostel on 31 March.
Unite national officer for the not for profit sector Sally Kosky said: “It is unprecedented for St Mungo’s to walk away from a profitable contract. Our concern is for the homeless of Hitchin and the future job security of our members.
“We believe that St Mungo’s has behaved in a heartless fashion and we will be having talks with the relevant local authorities - North Hertfordshire District Council and Hertfordshire County Council - to see what plans will be in place to look after the homeless of North Hertfordshire.
“We will be seeking assurances that the hostel continues to provide a fully staffed service for those in need.”
St Mungo’s said the decision to pull out of the hostel came after plans to acquire and modernise it fell through. The charity also said it would be consulting with staff on the implications and would continue managing another five bed supported housing scheme in the area.
The staff at the troubled hostel took strike action over the Christmas and New Year period over the management’s refusal to align the pay and conditions of the five project workers with the rest of the charity’s workforce, which would have cost less than £5,000 a year.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
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