Shelter stands by 'full and final offer' despite strike threat

Shelter's chief executive Adam Sampson has indicated that he will stand firm despite a second union ballot in which staff voted in favour of more strike action over new contracts that will increase working hours and end incremental pay rises.

The results of the ballot, announced yesterday, revealed that 65 per cent of those who voted were in favour of more strikes (Third Sector Online, 15 April). The ballot was called after Shelter management made a new offer to staff during negotiations with mediation service ACAS that were prompted two days of strikes held at Shelter offices last month.

"We made it clear to managers and staff that our offer at ACAS was full and final,” Sampson told Third Sector. "That has not changed. We hope the union will reconsider its position and we can move our working relationship forwards.”

Sampson added that he did not consider the Shelter union members’ vote of 65 per cent in favour of strikes – equivalent to 19.5 per cent of the charity’s total staff – represented a “legitimate mandate” for further strike action.

“In the interests of our service users and the whole organisation the dispute should now be concluded," Sampson said.

Union stewards claim that staff were “insulted” by Shelter’s offer of a £150 pay-off plus a ‘non-consolidated payment’ that is equivalent to each staff member’s expected 2008 incremental pay rise. They have now warned they are planning two further days of strike action scheduled for the end of May.

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