Shelter dispute

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Steven.
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Feb 28 2008 17:49
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
Has anyone seen Adam Sampson's condescending response to the planned strike action? What a cock.

you mean apart from in the guardian? what else he say?

Quote:
There seems to be be strong support in favour of the strike action in my department both from union and no union staff, we're going to be having a picket line on the wednesday and it sounds as though it'll be well staffed to deter those thinking of going to work.

excellent, please let us know anything else that happens yeah? Is it true that 70% of staff have signed the new contracts already? i'd be surprised if the 470-odd unite members were under 30% of the workforce, i didn't think shelter had that many staff.

you could also get in touch with kyliew, above...

Vaneigemappreci...
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Feb 28 2008 19:26

Steven-Many workers have signed the new contract but are still striking, i believe they were given a certain amount of time to sign or face losing their jobs, hence most people signed but under protest. So even though they may have signed theyre still striking and are firmly against the contracts.

Here's what Adam had to say to his empolyees.

As you will know, the ballot of the 478 trade union members has produced a result of 211 for industrial action and 78 against (there were four spoiled ballot papers and the remaining members did not vote). The union has called a one-day strike on 5 March.

Clearly, this is something we regret and we regret too the publicity which others have sought over the past few days. However, as similar events in other organisations have shown (Amnesty had a week-long strike last year), we can be confident of getting through what may a difficult period without either harming the organisation or, more important, the people whom we were set up to serve.

We have put in place arrangements to make sure that the strike will not impact too badly on the business of the organisation. Those who decide to strike of course have the right to do so; however, we would ask that they conduct themselves respectfully to their colleagues who will be working. Both those who decide to strike and staff who feel unable to cross any picket line will, of course, not be paid for the days they do not work. Managers will be on hand, where appropriate, to ensure that people who wish to work are able to do so. Please discuss any issues you may have around all of this (eg the arrangements for people off sick or seeking to take leave) with your line manager.

On the positive side, despite all the industrial relations issues, Shelter continues to deliver an extraordinary amount of hugely impressive work in all aspects of what we do. Once this short period of disruption is over, we can settle down to concentrate fully on what drives us: changing the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society.

Adam Sampson
Chief Executive

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Steven.
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Feb 29 2008 02:23

cheers vac!

Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
(Amnesty had a week-long strike last year)

is this true? i can't find anything on it, nor heard anything...

ftony
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Feb 29 2008 09:51
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:

On the positive side, despite all the industrial relations issues, Shelter continues to deliver an extraordinary amount of hugely impressive work in all aspects of what we do. Once this short period of disruption is over, we can settle down to concentrate fully on what drives us: changing the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society.

Adam Sampson
Chief Executive

i think this encapsulates so well the attitudes of charity sector management. 'you shouldn't expect to get what you're worth because our clients/projects are more important.', 'how dare you be so greedy when there are people much worse off than yourselves' etc etc. it's pretty sickening. i'll definitely be on the lines for most of the morning.

chegrimandi
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Feb 29 2008 13:40
Steven. wrote:
How much do you get then you shitwit?

plenty - thats why he's always shoving coke up his hooter (allegedly)

Vaneigemappreci...
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Feb 29 2008 17:20
Quote:
Once this short period of disruption is over

That says it all, what do they say about pressumption?

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the button
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Mar 1 2008 02:15
chegrimandi wrote:
Steven. wrote:
How much do you get then you shitwit?

plenty - thats why he's always shoving coke up his hooter (allegedly)

It's frankly shocking that anyone in the voluntary sector could be involved in such nefarious activity, eh chegs? grin

Johnsmith00
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Mar 2 2008 13:48

I'm just interested reading this - I landed on this page as a result of putting Shelter and strike into Google. I've been homeless for 6 years and I had just to laugh when I read about all those dedicated staff - most of the staff in the big homeless organisations like St Mungos, Thamereach, St Martins, Crisis, will wax eloquent on how much they care about the weak and vulnerable members of society, when in fact what they all care about is keeping their noses well in the feeding trough - good social status - "I work for Shelter" - ah, the glow - nice holidays in exotic foreign places (to compensate for the stress, don't you know) nice houses commensurate with their social status and relative to most of the population, shit loads of money. Sure the management probably have an even bigger share of the feeding trough. ... What exactly is it that Shelter do for the homeless? Nobody I have ever spoken to who is homeless has ever known the answer to that. Yes, there is the advice line - I think I have spoken to a couple of people who actually got through to it - described it as totally useless. But does it take £43 million to run an advice line - shit that's serious money - even the notorious Shaks Gosh of Crisis didn't manage to rake off that much.

I don't give a shit about Shelter workers - my name for someone from that social strata is New Labour vermin - and I'm not referring to who they vote for or whether they're in the Respect or the SWP and go on anti-war marches or whatever. After 10 years of a government which declared war on the poor they will still mouth platitudes about having to vote New Labour to keep the Tories out (meaning New Labour keep them in their ill gotten gains - and are creating more homelessness to promote the growth of the industry.) The homeless industry is little different from the Aid industry. It's disgusting, and it lives off peoples misery

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Mar 2 2008 14:39
Johnsmith00 wrote:
I don't give a shit about Shelter workers - my name for someone from that social strata is New Labour vermin - and I'm not referring to who they vote for or whether they're in the Respect or the SWP and go on anti-war marches or whatever. After 10 years of a government which declared war on the poor they will still mouth platitudes about having to vote New Labour to keep the Tories out

What the hell are you talking about? I used to work for Shelter, do I tell people to vote new labour?

chegrimandi
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Mar 3 2008 16:30
Johnsmith00 wrote:
I'm just interested reading this - I landed on this page as a result of putting Shelter and strike into Google. I've been homeless for 6 years and I had just to laugh when I read about all those dedicated staff - most of the staff in the big homeless organisations like St Mungos, Thamereach, St Martins, Crisis, will wax eloquent on how much they care about the weak and vulnerable members of society, when in fact what they all care about is keeping their noses well in the feeding trough - good social status - "I work for Shelter" - ah, the glow - nice holidays in exotic foreign places (to compensate for the stress, don't you know) nice houses commensurate with their social status and relative to most of the population, shit loads of money. Sure the management probably have an even bigger share of the feeding trough. ... What exactly is it that Shelter do for the homeless? Nobody I have ever spoken to who is homeless has ever known the answer to that. Yes, there is the advice line - I think I have spoken to a couple of people who actually got through to it - described it as totally useless. But does it take £43 million to run an advice line - shit that's serious money - even the notorious Shaks Gosh of Crisis didn't manage to rake off that much.

I don't give a shit about Shelter workers - my name for someone from that social strata is New Labour vermin - and I'm not referring to who they vote for or whether they're in the Respect or the SWP and go on anti-war marches or whatever. After 10 years of a government which declared war on the poor they will still mouth platitudes about having to vote New Labour to keep the Tories out (meaning New Labour keep them in their ill gotten gains - and are creating more homelessness to promote the growth of the industry.) The homeless industry is little different from the Aid industry. It's disgusting, and it lives off peoples misery

you've made some valid points and missed the mark on a lot of points also...

I'm intrigued John what your solution to homelessness would be? Would the situation for homeless people be better or worse without the likes of Shelter, Centrepoint, Mungos etc. How better would you spend the £43 million of Shelter? I'm genuinely interested...

Shelter would of course answer your points by saying that they are more about people living in bad housing rather than for street homeless people...but the advice line is shit - impossible to get through on and just signpost you elswhere if you do get through

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Mar 3 2008 22:21
chegrimandi wrote:
you've made some valid points and missed the mark on a lot of points also...

I'm intrigued John what your solution to homelessness would be? Would the situation for homeless people be better or worse without the likes of Shelter, Centrepoint, Mungos etc. How better would you spend the £43 million of Shelter? I'm genuinely interested...

I think charities like Shelter are pretty much useless. I would say the only solution to problems like poverty and homelessness are, sadly, workers organisation and direct action - like shelter workers are now taking in their own interests. So this they shouldn't be attacked for.

posi
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Mar 4 2008 09:24

I'm gonna go to the Old St picket tommorrow. Second hand news (so it'd be good if someone can check it out), but apparently management have issued a whole lot of redundancy notices and are getting people to re-aply for their jobs...

ftony
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Mar 4 2008 09:50

posi, see you there. i'll be around from 8-ish.

shitfer
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Mar 4 2008 22:30

Staff at Shelter have been asking Adam Sampson just how many staff have signed their new contracts - in the west of England, there has been almost 100% resistance - no-one in my local area has signed although 4 experienced and committed workers have chosen voluntary redundancy and therefore were not required to sign up. The rest of us have to be interviewed by our Regional Manager before we are sacked (although of course we will be offered new inferior contracts).
Adam has responded to these requests for information by stating he is far too busy to give us accurate figures - he can't waste his time when there are budgets to set! Strange that he's very quick to release figures he feels support his arguments!
Some of us are travelling up to London to join the picket line tomorrow - hope to see some of you there!

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Steven.
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Mar 4 2008 23:24

i hope to be there, am going to try to bring a couple of people

posi
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Mar 5 2008 12:34

I know Steven.'s gonna do more of a proper report for the news section, but...

Despite the bitter cold the Old St picket was well attended by Shelter workers and supporters, perhaps 30 in total. Apparently about 200 people work in that office, the head office - including most of the campaigns and policy staff. I'd say 30 people or less went into work - with a set of about ten being walked in together. It'd clearly been arranged for them to meet someone a short distance away. The picket was generally very polite though.

Anyway...

Strike is on again on Monday, same place, same time!

I know it'd really help the confidence of this group of workers, striking for the first time today, if we could get even more people along then.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 5 2008 15:19

Despite the freezing cold conditions around 12 members of staff turned out to picket Shelter's Birmingham office with around 6 members of the public stopping to offer their support, around 100 leaflets were passed to members of the public and there were words of encouragement from many who saw the picket. Only 5 members of staff crossed the picket, 3 of those being management who entered the building together. All in all a good days picketting, i genuinely think that adam sampson has grossly underestimated the fighting spirit of the Shelter staff.

Shifter, can i ask which Shelter office you work at?

shitfer
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Mar 6 2008 08:41

I work in the Bristol area and six of us joined the picket line at Old Street yesterday. There are 13 staff in our 2 housing aid centres - I believe only 1 went into work. The other 12 were on strike or not working that day (part-time). I don't know about you, but I'd call that pretty solid!

ftony
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Mar 6 2008 11:16
posi wrote:
Strike is on again on Monday, same place, same time!

I know it'd really help the confidence of this group of workers, striking for the first time today, if we could get even more people along then.

yes, it was a decent turnout. i'll be there again on monday for the first hour or so at least, along with the girlfriend probably.

Tim
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Mar 9 2008 22:06

In Scotland there was an excellent response to the strike action on the 5th. A central meeting was held in Glasgow and staff from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee and South Lanarkshire attended. Every manager of frontline services in Scotland has refused to sign the new contracts and this extends to the majority of staff too. Of those staff who have signed, the majority appear to be within the head office and this is no particular surprise - when you sit down the corridor from the director, it isn't exactly easy to stand up to the pressure. Another day of action is planned tomorrow and momentum is picking up further.

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Tacks
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Mar 10 2008 12:53
Steven. wrote:
loach article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/feb/24/socialexclusion.filmnews

Loach is important cos his film - cathy come home - inspired Shelter's founding.

what's this? Ken Loach not being called all manner of cunts on libcom? What's gone wrong here! Somebody call revol.

anyway, i actually made it to the wednesday picket line cos i was late for work and wandered into a wob on his way there. I think i scared VAC a bit when i joked i'd come all the way from london to support it grin

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 10 2008 14:18
Quote:
I think i scared VAC a bit when i joked i'd come all the way from london to support it

It wasn't the distance you'd travelled but the attire you'd chose to travel in!

Shelter Scotlan...
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Mar 10 2008 15:35

Just back from the picket line at Shelter Scotland headquarters and the rally in Edinburgh. Absolutely brilliant turn out despite the freezing rain and wind! We got loads and loads of signatures from the public in support of Shelter staff and literally hundreds of motorists 'beeped' their car horns in support when they saw our placards and banners. Many members of the public completely shocked that Shelter management would act that way. Edinburgh Housing Aid Centre was closed, Glasgow Housing Aid Centre was closed, Dumfries and Galloway and Dundee had many staff on strike(and i think were closed too) and Edinburgh and Glasgow Families Projects were closed- union and non union members of staff were on the pick lines and at the rally. A few clients came along too in support. I would say that Shelter Scotland staff are resolute and strong in this industrial action. i hope picket lines up and down the country went as well as in Scotland. Wonder how the board meeting and the Senior Management Team meetings went today!

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the button
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Mar 10 2008 16:49

Great stuff. cool

Good to hear about the non- union members & some clients turning out, too.

ftony
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Mar 10 2008 17:19

bollocking shit i forgot there was another strike today.

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Mar 10 2008 18:30

Yeah anyone go the picket of the meeting today?

I went last week but couldn't this morn. Chatted to a couple of strikers and old co-workers, will try to write up interviews for news, rsi-permitting

posi
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Mar 11 2008 10:31

I turned up at 5 past 4 to the Old St office, and found no one there. Got to the City Forum Shelter office by half four - that's where the meeting was going to be - but there was nobody there either. So not sure what went on there, but I'm a bit annoyed with myself 'cause I definitely said I'd go. oops.

A comrade went past about 2pm apparently, and they were still going strong with about 15 people outside - which isn't half bad, considering the weather at that time. They did talk a bit about how many people had gone in. I don't want to relay that second hand though, so I'll wait for someone who knows what they're talking about.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 13 2008 19:47

By Adam Sampson's estimates 65% of staff attended work on the first day of strike action and 80% on the second day. This either means that those at the smaller Housing Advice Centres in places like Milton Keynes turned up to work enmasse or that Sampson's department of spurious statistics is working overtime!

Lower level management has been speaking to staff individually and in small groups to present managements perspective on the organisational changes, basically the gist is that we live in a business driven market, the squeeze is being put on charitable organisations to show they are efficient and worthy of Legal services money, its the same for everyone, thats just life, we know its not perfect and other such platitudes, so you may as well get on with it.

There's talks of a further 2 day strike in the offing and senior management are to talk with the T&G on the 17th of this month.

posi
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Mar 14 2008 09:03
Quote:
Subject: Update on Shelter Dispute - Further Strike on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th of March

Shelter management have approached the union for discussions on ways, in their words, "to mitigate the impact" of the proposed cuts to staff terms and conditions.

This is the first sign that our strikes are succeeding, but we are still counting on your support to keep the pressure up on Shelter management.

We have notified Shelter of two days strike action on the 19th and 20th of March. Details of the picket lines will be circulated as soon as they are available.

Please continue to visit the lines, the support helps boost morale and show Shelter management that people outside the organisation are with us.

If you haven't done so yet, please send messages of support to shelterstewards@googlemail.com and messages of protest to adam_sampson@shelter.org.uk . Pass motions in your union branches for messages of support and in-principle strike fund donations.

Your support matters. Together we can win!

In solidarity

Tim

chegrimandi
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Mar 14 2008 11:38

next action is 19th/20th next week - going to try and get down on wednesday morning I think - anyway - the email I got:

Shelter management have approached the union for discussions on ways, in their words, "to mitigate the impact" of the proposed cuts to staff terms and conditions.

This is the first sign that our strikes are succeeding, but we are still counting on your support to keep the pressure up on Shelter management.

We have notified Shelter of two days strike action on the 19th and 20th of March. Details of the picket lines will be circulated as soon as they are available.

Please continue to visit the lines, the support helps boost morale and show Shelter management that people outside the organisation are with us.

If you haven't done so yet, please send messages of support to shelterstewards@googlemail.com and messages of protest to adam_sampson@shelter.org.uk . Pass motions in your union branches for messages of support and in-principle strike fund donations.

Your support matters. Together we can win!

In solidarity