UNISON and Unite furious at charity’s “vicious” plans for workforce

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Unions have condemned the move by a charity to sack its 2,600 staff and re-employ them on lower pay.

Unison and Unite have accused Turning Point, which helps those with emotional and employment problems, of leading the race to the bottom in the voluntary sector.

They fear the plan to slash staff pay and conditions will, in turn, lead to a deterioration of services for many vulnerable people.

The charity has been growing over the last three years and making bigger profits each year rising to £302,000 in 2011/12.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “This is devastating for staff. Already, I am hearing sickening stories of how individuals will lose their homes, will have to rely on food banks and will be set back decades in their standard of living.

“Many of our 450 members stand to lose thousands of pounds a year; some could be out of pocket to the tune of £10,000.”

Accusing the charity of giving a “vicious and unnecessary kick in the teeth of hard-working staff”, UNISON national officer Simon Watson said: “Turning Point is behaving disgracefully. It is through the efforts of its staff that the charity has grown and makes a profit and their reward is to drive down their pay and conditions.

“The timing could hardly be worse – right before Christmas when staff have more demands on their family budget.  A race to the bottom is not the way to attract and retain decent staff and that means that the charity’s clients will suffer.”

Turning Point was created to help people find a new direction in life by helping those with substance misuse, mental health issues, a learning disability, or employment difficulties by providing tailored personalised care.

Jamie Major said: “Turning Point has a charitable status, but I question how an organisation driving cuts such as these could have the gall to call itself a charity. This is a race to the bottom.

“The Turning Point management is breaking faith with its staff, especially those transferred to the organisation with TUPE contracts which protect their pay and conditions.

“Management say they are doing this so that they can compete with the competitive bidding process in the charity sector – but caring for vulnerable people should not be equated with the profit motive of the private sector.”

Unite is currently canvassing its members to formulate a response to the management’s plans.


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