Shelter job cuts will 'compromise independence'

Homelessness charity Shelter is compromising its independence and campaigning potential by making cuts to deliver Government contracts at lower cost, a trade union has claimed.

Unite, the trade union, made the comments after Shelter's announcement last week that it would make five redundancies, abolish incremental pay rises and increase working hours by 2.5 hours a week to conform to new Legal Services Commission processes. The union accused Shelter of "bullying and intimidating" its staff (Third Sector Online, 23 January).

"How can the charity be taken seriously as a potential critic of the Government if when they are told to do something by ministers they do it immediately at the expense of their staff?" said Alan Scott, regional industrial organiser at Unite.

"Shelter is downgrading jobs to fit in with the contract process of the Legal Services Commission."

Adam Sampson, chief executive of Shelter, said: "If anything, securing more contracts will allow Shelter to campaign on a wider set of issues, such as debt advice and community care advice.

"We have been a campaigning organisation since we were established more than 40 years ago, and we will continue to do so without compromise."

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