Simon Community faces strike

Support workers at homelessness organisation the Simon Community in Northern Ireland, are being balloted for strike action over a dispute about job gradings.

The charity signed a recognition agreement with Unison last year, but has since been in dispute with the union over the grading of 11 support and resettlement staff. The union says that traditionally they were on higher grades than other workers, but the charity has put all staff on the same level.

In a statement the charity said: "Simon Community considers the offer made to this group of staff to be fair and reasonable."

Unison community and voluntary branch organiser Dessie Donnelly said the charity had decided last year to put all support workers on the same money, which entailed increasing the pay of some of them in a recent pay round.

"We are expecting 90 to 100 per cent support for industrial action," he said.

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