Problem for Samaritans – derecognising Unite

Problem for Samaritans - derecognising Unite

24 July 2013

Samaritans, the charity that has helped people with their problems for 60 years, has a problem of its own - it has derecognised Unite as the union representing its staff.

Samaritans has recognised the right of the workforce to have an independent trade union and elect representatives for many years, however the charity has recently reneged on this agreement, claiming that ‘the agreement does not  reflect the nature of our working relationship’.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said “I would strongly urge Samaritans to reconsider its position. This act of derecognition goes totally against the ethos of Samaritans.

“It is highly suspicious that Unite was informed that management wants to make sweeping changes to policies and procedures, and then derecognised the rights of staff to have an independent trade union in the same breath.

"This is a worrying development for the 110-strong workforce. I would urge them to stand together to ensure they retain an independent voice at Samaritans.

“As management no longer recognise our agreement, we have no other option but to consult our members working at Samaritans about the action they are prepared to take in response.

“Industrial action will obviously be one of the options we will be discussing, if management refuses to negotiate.”

Samaritans is a national charity and the coordinating body for the 201 Samaritans’ branches in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It was founded in 1953.


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 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.