Centrepoint staff to hold strike ballot over proposed restructure

Union Unite says the homelessness charity 'has not given a clear picture' over redundancies and pay cuts

Centrepoint helps young homeless people
Centrepoint helps young homeless people

Staff at the homelessness charity Centrepoint will vote later this month on whether to take industrial action in a dispute over proposed pay cuts and redundancies.

The union Unite has organised the ballot in response to a proposed restructure at the charity.

Matt Smith, a regional officer at Unite, said Centrepoint had told the union that 14 posts would be made redundant and there would be pay cuts for other staff.

He said, however, that the charity had sent a form to the government saying up to 28 posts could be made redundant, under a law that requires organisations to notify the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if they plan to cut 20 or more jobs.

"The charity has not given us a clear picture of what its plans are," said Smith. "But from the negotiations we have had, we believe redundancies and pay cuts will not be fairly distributed. Front-line, service delivery staff will be hit hardest while, as far as we can see, the chief executive’s salary is not being hit."

The 88 Unite members at the charity were asked whether they wanted to be balloted on industrial action. Of the 58 that voted, 48 said they wanted to be balloted and 10 said they did not.

The charity has 254 employees, according to figures on the Charity Commission’s website.

Smith said negotiations between the charity and the union had broken down. The ballot on whether they will take industrial action would be held later this month, he said.

Centrepoint issued a statement that said it was consulting staff about a proposed restructure. "Like many other charities, we are responding to cuts in government funding," the statement said. "It would not be appropriate to discuss this in any more detail at this stage."

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