Shelter staff vote for more strikes

Staff at homelessness charity Shelter have voted to reject the latest management offer and continue strike action over new contracts which will mean longer working days and an end to incremental pay increases.

The ballot results, announced today, show that 64 per cent of union members who took part voted to reject the management offer (equal to 35 per cent of union members). Thirty-five per cent of those who took part (or 19.5 per cent of union members) voted to accept the offer. The turnout was 56 per cent of union members.

The ballot centred on the charity’s offer of £150 plus a ‘non-consolidated payment’ that is equivalent to their expected 2008 incremental pay rise. The offer was made during ACAS negotiation after the first round of strike action last month.

A Shelter union steward described the ballot result as an “overwhelming rejection by Shelter staff” which demonstrated their refusal to be pushed into accepting an “insulting settlement”. 

However, Shelter chief executive Adam Sampson said that the vote only showed that 19.5 per cent of staff had rejected the offer.

"We believe the vote of 19.5 per cent of staff is not a legitimate mandate for further strike action and that in the interests of our service users and the whole organisation the dispute should now be concluded," he said. "We hope the union will reconsider its position and we can move our working relationship forwards." 

Now that the offer had been rejected, union stewards requested further negotiations with Shelter, but the charity has refused.

Shelter chief executive Adam Sampson said: "We made it clear to managers and staff that our offer at ACAS was full and final. This has not changed."

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