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Date Mon 11 July 2011

Staff at one of Scotland’s largest charities left facing savage pay cuts of almost 25 per cent

STAFF working for a Scottish charity face losing almost a quarter of their pay packet if proposed cuts go ahead. All 2,000 staff at Quarriers – one of Scotland’s largest social care charities – face cuts of between three and 23 per cent of their salary in a bid to make the charity ‘more competitive’.

Quarriers staff were issued with 90-day consultation notices on April 27, with plans to re-hire them after this date on worse pay, terms and conditions. UNISON, Scotland’s largest trade union in the voluntary sector, has been fighting the proposals and has been engaged in discussions to find alternative ways for the charity to protect both services and staff.

However, at a meeting on Friday (July 8), Quarriers bosses advised the union that it would not be considering other options and that it would be pressing ahead with its plans to cut wages.

The proposed cuts would see fully-trained support worker, earning around £20,000 a year, lose almost £5,000 of their salary. Project workers, who earn around £26,000 a year, would see a loss of almost £7,000.

Stephen Brown, branch secretary for UNISON Quarriers, said: “Treating staff in this way is absolutely appalling and staff have been left feeling angry and demoralised.

“It’s ironic that the Quarriers motto is ‘transforming lives’ – well, they’ll certainly transform our lives if they push ahead with these cuts. Our workers have been left facing a very uncertain future, with many worried about how they’ll pay the mortgage if their salaries are chopped.”

Simon Macfarlane, regional organiser for UNISON, said: “Our members are clear that savage pay cuts like these are unacceptable. They have already voted massively in favour of industrial action in a consultative ballot and I am confident they will do so again in a formal industrial action ballot.

“UNISON has a strong track record of reaching negotiated settlements in Quarriers and that remains our desire, this is evidenced by our request to go to ACAS. We need Quarriers to be more realistic; pay cuts of 23 per cent are simply unrealistic, unfair and untenable.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information contact Stephen Brown, branch secretary of UNISON Quarriers, on 07584 503 858, or Simon Macfarlane, regional organiser for UNISON, on 07703 194 132 or Trisha Hamilton, communications officer, on 07939 478 461. You can also visit our website at www.unison-scotland.org.uk

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