Unite the Union, who represent staff at the charity, has said Shelter is imposing a pay offer on its staff.
Workers at housing charity Shelter have begun balloting for strike action after receiving an “insulting” pay offer.
Shelter is imposing its pay offer on its staff and refusing to consider any further permanent increases to salaries, Unite the Union has claimed, calling for a fair, cost-of-living increase.
The three per cent pay increase and a one off payment of £1,500 has been described as insulting and represents a substantial real-terms pay cut given that the real inflation rate (RPI) now stands at 12.6 per cent.
Over 450 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Shelter throughout the UK, have begun balloting for industrial action this week with the ballot closing on Friday, 4 November.
If workers vote for industrial action then strikes could begin later next month.
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Three per cent on pay for Shelter’s workers when real living costs run at more than four times that rate is just unacceptable.
"Our members, who are dedicated to assisting vulnerable people, are now finding it impossible to keep their own heads above water.
“Shelter can afford to pay a fair pay increase but it is choosing not to. Unite will give its members at the charity its total support.”
Unite believes that Shelter is fully able to make a fair pay offer. Its reserves last year stood at around £14.5 million, substantially higher than its target reserves of £8.9 million.
Unite regional officer, Peter Storey, added: “Unite’s members are balloting for industrial action as a last resort but this imposed pay deal is insulting. Workers have explored every possible avenue but Shelter’s management has repeatedly blocked them and refused to enter into negotiations.
“Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption to the vital services that Shelter operates but this dispute is entirely of the charity’s own making.”
Tim Gutteridge, director of finance and strategy enablement at Shelter, said: “Unite have informed us that they are balloting their members for industrial action. While we hope that this action can be averted, we respect people’s right to strike, and will remain in regular contact with the union.
“We recognise the contribution made by all of our colleagues in our shared mission of ending the housing emergency. Our aim remains meeting the needs of our colleagues, while also ensuring we can deliver our frontline services and campaign work for the people we exist to serve, during these challenging and uncertain times.”