UNISON members at Action for Children overwhelmingly vote for industrial action

UNISON is urging managers at charity Action for Children to avoid a strike after UNISON members voted overwhelmingly for industrial action following a long-running dispute over pay.

A total of 73.5 per cent of UNISON members employed by Action for Children voted for strike action. The figure voting for industrial action short of a strike was 84.9 per cent.

The ballot follows a move by Action for Children to impose a one per cent pay award on its 5,000 employees. This is despite senior executives taking substantial pay rises, whilst staff have had their wages frozen since 2010. The charity has benefited from surpluses of more than £5.4 million for each of the last three years.

UNISON and Unite have been stepping up our campaign for pay justice at Action for Children by writing to trustees and celebrity supporters – including Jenny Agutter, Sir Trevor McDonald and Angela Rippon – over the pay double standards at the charity.

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UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “Today’s decision will have been a very difficult one for workers who are committed to their jobs and the people they care for. It demonstrates the strength of feeling among them. We are determined to resolve this dispute – strike action should be an absolute last resort.

“Senior managers at Action for Children have acted in a high-handed way by imposing a pay settlement that excludes many staff. Charity workers are dedicated to looking after children and families, and want their employer to see sense and start to listen.”

Today’s strike vote comes as UNISON and Unite begin contacting the charity’s celebrity supporters – including Jenny Agutter, Sir Trevor McDonald and Angela Rippon – to seek their support in the pay dispute that has so far lasted over a year.