A 10-day strike by staff at the homelessness charity St Mungo’s Broadway has been called off after a last-minute agreement was reached between the union Unite and the charity’s management.
The strike, which was due to begin at 8am on Wednesday, was called off after 10 hours of discussions concluded on Tuesday evening and a mass meeting of union members was held on Wednesday.
Unite said that the union had reached an agreement about terms and conditions for front-line workers. The talks were conducted through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
A Unite spokesman said: "Members are being consulted, but the overwhelming feeling is that there is an agreement that addresses members’ concerns."
A statement from the union said that "99.9 per cent" of shop stewards’ demands were met, with St Mungo’s reversing its decision to change pay, terms and conditions for front-line workers.
Howard Sinclair, chief executive of St Mungo’s, said in a statement: "The serious challenges we face as an organisation and in our sector haven’t gone away, and the money available to pay for services for homeless people remains reduced, while demand for these services increases.
"Our agreement with Unite is that we are both committed to working meaningfully together for the benefit of clients, staff and stakeholders, and are facing those challenges so that our exceptionally dedicated staff can continue to feel proud of working for an organisation whose priority remains providing the highest quality services for our clients."
Unite said that the dispute concerned changes to employees’ terms and conditions and HR practices after the merger of St Mungo’s and Broadway earlier this year.
The union said that the starting annual salary of a new project worker had been cut from £25,000 to £20,000 and that significant changes had been made to HR policies and procedures without consultation with the union.
St Mungo's Broadway staff staged a week-long strike on 17 October.
The union said almost 680 members took part, with 19 picket lines and dozens of protests at the town halls of councils responsible for commissioning SMB services.