Workers at housing charity Shelter have begun balloting for strike action after receiving an “insulting” pay offer.

Imposed pay offer

Shelter is imposing its pay offer on its staff and refusing to consider any further permanent increases to salaries, which the Union say is essential to a fair cost of living increase. The three per cent pay increase and a one off payment of £1,500 has been described as insulting, it is in effect a substantial real-terms pay cut given that the real inflation rate (RPI) now stands at 12.6 per cent.

Over 450 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Shelter throughout the UK, have begun balloting for industrial action this week with the ballot closing on Friday 4 November. If workers vote for industrial action then strikes could begin later next month.

Totally unacceptable

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Three per cent on pay for Shelter’s workers when real living costs run at more than four times that rate is just unacceptable. Our members, who are dedicated to assisting vulnerable people, are now finding it impossible to keep their own heads above water.

“Shelter can afford to pay a fair pay increase but it is choosing not to. Unite will give its members at the charity its total support.”

Well funded

Unite believes that Shelter is fully able to make a fair pay offer. Its reserves last year stood at around £14.5 million, substantially higher than its target reserves of £8.9 million.

Last resort

Unite regional officer Peter Storey said: “Unite’s members are balloting for industrial action as a last resort but this imposed pay deal is insulting. Workers have explored every possible avenue but Shelter’s management has repeatedly blocked them and refused to enter into negotiations.

“Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption to the vital services that Shelter operates but this dispute is entirely of the charity’s  own making.”


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.