Equinox Care workers to strike for two days over proposed pay cuts

The union Unite, which has 70 members among the charity's 120 employees, says further strikes are likely if management refuses to negotiate

Equinox Care
Equinox Care

Members of the Unite union at Equinox Care, the drug and alcohol services charity, have voted for two days of strike action in response to proposed pay cuts of up to 25 per cent.

Unite, which has 70 members among the 120 workers at Equinox Care, said the strike ballot amounted to a vote of no confidence in the charity’s management.

The union said management was proposing pay cuts of between £4,000 and £6,000 a year for some front-line staff, while the charity’s chief executive would receive a performance-related pay bonus.

Two separate 24-hour strikes will take place on 29 May and 12 June after 98 per cent of the 70 Unite members at the charity voted in favour of industrial action.

The union said further strikes were likely unless management agreed to negotiate.

Jamie Major, a regional officer for Unite, said staff had "had enough of the current leadership of Equinox Care". The union said the charity had also refused to use Acas, the conciliation service, to resolve the dispute.

But Bill Puddicombe, chief executive of Equinox Care, told Third Sector that Unite had suggested using Acas only towards the end of a 90-day consultation on the pay proposals, when there was not enough time to do so.

"We think it’s unfortunate that we were unable to explain the situation in a way Unite could understand, but the economic reality is that we have to pay salaries that are similar to those paid to people who work elsewhere in the same field," said Puddicombe.

Puddicombe said there was no chance that the charity would rethink its proposals in light of the ballot and threats of future strike action.



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