UNISON urges charity chiefs to avoid strike action

UNISON today (Monday) urged managers at charity Action for Children to avoid a strike.

It comes as UNISON members overwhelmingly backed 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 staff. This is despite senior executives taking substantial pay rises, and the fact the charity has benefited from surpluses of more than £5.4 million for each of the last three years.

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.

Media contacts:
Sophie Goodchild T: 0207 121 5546 M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk
Alan Weaver T:  0207 121 5555 M: 07939 143310 E: a.weaver@unison.co.uk
Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk