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Date: 29 June 2012

UNISON calls on the Archbishop of Glasgow to think again

UNISON is today calling on the Archbishop of Glasgow, and other senior figures in the Scottish Catholic Church, to overturn their decision to slash the pay of low paid workers.

Archbishop Mario Conti sits on the board of social care charity The Mungo Foundation, a charity set up to provide care and support to adults with learning difficulties across the West of Scotland. Last year – due to social care cuts pursued by Glasgow City Council under the guise of personalisation – many staff saw their hours cut, while others lost their jobs.

To add insult to injury, the board is now looking to cut their hourly rate of pay by seven per cent and cut their hours even further.

The union says the cuts are not being driven by financial pressures, but rather 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.

Mr MacFarlane added: “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.

“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.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. UNISON is currently consulting those Mungo Foundation members affected by these cuts on industrial action. In addition to consulting the staff facing wage and hours cuts, the union is also balloting all members within the charity on pay as a result of the board’s decision to impose a one-off payment of £350 after a 5 year pay freeze.

2. The Mungo Foundation was previously part of the Archdiocese of Glasgow but it is now a legally distinct board.

For more information please contact:
Simon Macfarlane, UNISON’s Regional Organiser, on 07703 194 132.

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