Action for Children staff balloted over strike

Trade union Unite says workers at the charity's House on the Hill project have been asked to sign new contracts reducing their annual leave

  • This story was clarified on January 5 2010 - see final paragraph

Workers at an Action for Children project in south London are to be balloted over strike action in a dispute over terms and conditions.

Eight members of staff at the charity's House on the Hill project in Lewisham, which provides residential care for eight to 18-year-olds, will vote over whether they should strike over new contracts.

Rachael Maskell, national officer for the community and not-for-profit sector at the trade union Unite, which represents the staff, said the charity had told them they had mistakenly been put in too high a salary band and wanted to move them into a lower one.

The main effect of this would be to reduce their annual leave entitlement, she said, and the lower entitlement could breach working time regulations.

"What it amounts to is that Action for Children is sacking good workers," said Maskell. 

If the staff vote in favour of strike action, a walkout could happen before the end of January.

An Action for Children spokesman said the charity was unable to comment on the situation while negotiations were continuing.

  • Unite added after publication of the story that the changes planned by the management would reduce the salaries of the staff as well as their annual leave entitlement.



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