Homelessness charity workers ballot on strikes over low pay

Hundreds of workers at Britain’s biggest homelessness charity are being balloted over strike action in a long-running dispute over low levels of pay, while the charity’s chief executive enjoys a salary of £189,000 per year.

Frontline hardship: many St Mungo’s workers are struggling to make ends meet

Frontline workers at St Mungo’s, who often deal with rough sleepers out on the streets at night, earn around £26,000.

St Mungo’s have been operating in Croydon in recent years, including on projects where vulnerable migrant rough sleepers have their details shared with the council or the Home Office, in schemes where the charity receives an income from the public body.

The charity workers’ union, Unite, say that many St Mungo’s employees are themselves struggling to make ends meet.

Unite is balloting more than 500 workers in London, Bristol, Brighton, Oxford, Bournemouth and Reading.

The current row goes back to the refusal of the charity to resolve pay for 2021 when bosses imposed a 1.75per cent increase. “Despite over a year of patient negotiations by staff, bosses at St Mungo’s have refused to budge except for an unconsolidated £700 payment,” a Unite spokesperson said.

“But the charity’s latest year-end cash balance was £22.5million.”

Unite say that the value of the charity’s frontline workers’ pay packet has fallen by 25per cent since 2013. “In the last 10 years, the pay of senior management in St Mungo’s has increased by 350per cent,” Unite says.

“St Mungo’s frontline workers are on the streets every night helping the homeless but many can’t afford to pay their own rent,” said Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary.

“Now the workers are rebelling – they have no other choice. While charity bosses live the good life, frontline staff are facing the full force of the cost of living crisis.

“The charity can easily afford to give workers a fair pay deal and Unite is firmly on their side.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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