Workers at the homeless charity are struggling to pay the rent but bosses haven’t resolved a pay dispute going back to 2021

93% voted for strike action at St Mungo’s - strike begins on Monday 24 April

Dedicated charity workers who are on the streets helping the homeless every night have been left with no other choice but to take strike action. “Workers are at the end of their tether”.

The homeless charity still hasn’t resolved a pay dispute going back to 2021 in the midst of falling pay and a cost of living crisis. The workers are fed up with highly paid management at top of their homeless charity while at the bottom they struggle to make ends meet.

The four week strike starts on Monday 24 April 2023 and ends on 21 May 2023. Unite balloted over 500 workers across southern England including in London, Bristol, Brighton, Oxford, Bournemouth and Reading.

Since 2013, St Mungo’s chief executives have seen their average pay at the charity spiral by 77 per cent – up from £107,000 to more than £189,000 (according to the latest published accounts). St Mungo’s won’t reveal the salary of the newly appointed CEO, Emma Haddad.

In the last ten years, the pay of senior management at St Mungo’s has increased by 350 per cent. In stark contrast, over a similar time frame, the real value of the wages of St Mungo’s workers, many of whom work on the streets helping the homeless, has plummeted by 25 per cent. A frontline worker earns around £26,000. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “St Mungo’s workers are dedicated to helping the homeless but they can’t afford to pay their own rent. The workers are at the end of their tether. It’s astonishing management indifference that’s driven them to strike action.

“Our members are ready for a sustained campaign of action and they have Unite’s full support. The workers know the charity can afford to give workers a fair pay deal and Unite is firmly on their side.”

The current row goes back to the refusal of the charity to resolve pay for 2021 when bosses imposed a disgraceful 1.75 per cent pay increase. Despite over a year of patient negotiations by staff, bosses at St Mungo’s have refused to budge except for an unconsolidated £700 payment. But the charity’s total reserves as of 31 March 2022 were almost £15 million. The charity’s latest year-end cash balance was £22.5 million. 

Unite regional officer Steve O’Donnell said: “St Mungo’s workers’ pay has plummeted but in the last ten years the pay of senior management has increased by an astonishing 350 per cent. It’s time the charity did the right thing and paid frontline workers properly. Our members are ready for the long haul - it’s time St Mungo’s bosses woke up to that fact.”


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.