UNISON says charity set up to care for adults with learning difficulties has ‘lost its way’ by attacks on staff


UNISON has called on the Archbishop of Glasgow and other senior figures in the Scottish Catholic Church to overturn a decision to slash the pay of low paid workers.

Archbishop Mario Conti sits on the board of the social care charity, The Mungo Foundation, which was set up to provide care and support to adults with learning difficulties across the West of Scotland.

Officials say the charity has ‘lost its way’ by attacking the wages of low-paid staff and is considering possible industrial action.

UNISON says many staff lost their jobs or had their hours cut last year as a result of local authority cuts to its social care budget.

The board is now looking to slash workers’ hourly rate of pay by 7% and cut their hours even further.

The union believes the latest round of cuts is an attempt to create a new workforce that the board can call upon when needed and drop when no longer required.

Simon Macfarlane, UNISON’s regional organiser, said: “The Mungo Foundation says it is rooted in sound Christian values with strong principles of social justice and inclusion. However, the actions of the board seem to suggest otherwise.

“Attacking the pay, conditions and working hours of low-paid workers, predominantly women, is a major slap in the face for these dedicated staff – many of whom have served the Archdiocese for more than 30 years.

“Our members are seriously concerned that staffing cuts will have a major impact on the service they provide to some of Glasgow’s most vulnerable people.

”The cuts in working hours will particularly impact on those who receive tax credits, as the system requires that workers have a certain amount of contracted hours in order to maintain entitlement.”

UNISON is consulting staff directly affected by the cuts to wages and hours over possible industrial action, as well as balloting all members working at the charity over the imposition of a one-off payment of £350 after a 5-year pay freeze.

Said Simon Macfarlane: “Our members have been called into the offices of the Archdiocese to be told of the cuts, while sitting in a room surrounded by guilt-framed pictures worth countless thousands of pounds.

“It seems the Mungo Foundation has lost its way and we’re calling on the Archbishop of Glasgow, and other board members, to reverse this damaging decision and to end the cuts agenda.”

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