RSPCA and Unite union meet to discuss staff strike

03 Mar 2020 News

The RSPCA and Unite are meeting today to discuss the possibility of averting strike action.

The trade union said that “talks under the auspices of conciliation service Acas between the RSPCA and Unite start this morning”. 

It added that the announcement of strike dates depends on the progress of these talks.

The RSPCA said it was meeting with the union at ACAS “to discuss points they wish to raise and also rebuilding our relationship to work together positively for the benefit of all employees”.

A letter has been sent to staff setting out the next steps if staff choose not to sign contracts. 

Last month members of the union voted in favour of strike action over a dispute with management over new contracts.

Unite said staff voted by 73 per cent for strike action and accused the charity’s management of a “bullying attitude”. 

The RSPCA denied bullying. It also said that it was disappointed but that it needed to make savings to protect the charity’s future in the long-term. 

RSPCA’s latest available accounts, for the year to December 2018, show that the charity had an income of £142m but expenditure of nearly £160m. 

The union said that under the proposals, staff allowances, especially for standby payments, will be reduced. 

At the time, Jesika Parmar, Unite regional officer, said: “Our members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in protest at the arbitrary imposition of new ‘performance pay’ contracts without a proper consultation process. These new contracts are very detrimental to our members. 

“Certain members of the management team have adopted a bullying attitude to staff in a bid to get them to sign the new contract before the deadline of 31 March – such behaviour is deplorable”. 

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