Staff at the homeless charity St Mungo’s Broadway (SMB) have called off a 10-day strike after a climb down by management during talks at the conciliation service Acas, their union Unite announced today (5 November 2014).
SMB management reversed their decision to change pay, terms and conditions for frontline workers after 10 hours of talks and pledged to work with Unite to find a productive way forward in a challenging financial environment.
The breakthrough follows a seven day strike by nearly 680 Unite members at SMB which saw 19 picket lines and dozens of protests at the town halls of councils responsible for commissioning SMB services. An early day motion in the House of Commons and donors threatening to withdraw funding further intensified the political pressure on the charity.
Among the changes management sought to impose were pay cuts of 19 per cent for new project workers, the removal of pay from collective bargaining and draconian changes to policies and procedures. At the same time, Howard Sinclair the chief executive of SMB, took a £34,000 pay rise.
St. Mungo’s Broadway was formed when Broadway, a ‘struggling’ organisation of 200 employees making year on year deficits, merged with the highly successful 1,000 strong St Mungo’s.
Through talks at Acas, management agreed to what the SMB shop stewards referred to as ‘99.9 per cent of our demands’. This included an agreement to pay new starters nationally agreed St Mungo’s terms and conditions and an agreement to upwardly harmonise former Broadway workers to St Mungo’s terms by 1 April 2015. Management also agreed to honour the existing recognition agreement and all collective agreements made with Unite prior to the merger.
Unite regional officer Nicky Marcus said: “This is a significant victory not just for staff, but for the service users our members work so tirelessly to help. It is a testament to what can be achieved when workers stand shoulder to shoulder and say enough is enough.
“Going forward we will be working with the management of St Mungo’s Broadway to ensure that the charity honours its commitments and that the workforce is treated with the respect it deserves.”
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.