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Shelter under fire for paying 'derisory' wages to staff

The charity Shelter, which regularly campaigns against lettings agencies and landlords, is bracing itself for a strike next week - and it’s accused of ‘derisory’ pay levels.

Three days of strike action begin on Tuesday by 400 members of the union Unite, who work for the charity. 

The action follows what the union calls a ‘derisory’ pay offer of a one per cent pay increase plus a one off one per cent payment. 


“Unite members are seeking an increase of 3.5 per cent the retail price index (RPI) as of April 2018 (the annual pay date) or a flat rate of a £1,100 increase for all workers” says the union.

It claims that its members at Shelter have suffered “a real terms pay cut of 11 per cent since 2010 because of a series of below inflation pay increases.” 

It adds: “Shelter recorded a surplus of £1 million last year and has £15.7 million in reserves.The strikes could seriously affect the organisation’s ability to offer advice and support to the homeless and people in precarious housing in the pre-Christmas period.”

Unite pledges that is the dispute is not resolved, it will hold further strike action in the new year.

Unite regional officer Peter Storey says: “Our members are not greedy. They are not looking to get richer, they are just trying to keep their heads above water. Unite’s members at Shelter have faced a year on year pay squeeze since the beginning of the decade and this year’s derisory pay offer was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

“It is entirely unfair that the wages of Shelter workers have been declining at the same time that the charity’s reserves have been increasing. The management at Shelter should stop trying to pressurise our members not to go on strike and instead enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.”

A spokesperson for Shelter told Letting Agent Today last evening: “There is currently a dispute between members of the Unite union and Shelter over pay.  But we are all still working together to resolve the dispute and very much hope to avoid any disruption to our services.”

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    And the 6 Directors continue to milk the donations to the tune of over three quarters of a million pounds, whilst their staff fight to keep a roof over their heads. Total hypocrisy!

  • James B

    As a charity goes they are a disgrace

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    Ken Loach called for a boycott of Shelter 10 years ago because its CEO wanted its employees to do unpaid overtime to win a government contract.

    Shelter has charitable status, which means it does not pay tax on the profits from its contracts with central and local government.

    However, despite its heart-wrenching adverts asking the unaware public for donations, Shelter is not a charity in the sense of doing charitable deeds like housing the homeless. It stopped raising money for housing over 40 years ago. All it does for the homeless is give advice. In that respect it is just like a small version of the Citizens Advice Bureau, which could take over that role.

    But Shelter spends millions every year from donations on lobbying against landlords and letting agents, and now it has started to bully them using rentamobs. It recently declared that it wants to become a mass movement half a million strong. Who does it plan to bully with them?

    In the last few months its senior members have made a series of false claims on TV programmes. To see how Shelter has lost its moral compass, google Boycott Shelter!

  • S l
    • S l
    • 07 December 2018 10:01 AM

    someone should inform nationwide building society. if they are not housing the homeless, why are we working so hard to support them? we dont want our hardwork and saving to go towards fat paycheck to the fatcats. we want majority of the charity money to go towards housing the homeless.

    G romit

    Nationwide like the majority of the general public, large corporates, and the media have been indoctrinated over decades that Shelter is wonderful and that it provides homes for people. In reality they do not do this, in fact quite the opposite their vendetta against Landlords and letting agents causes more homelessness, by driving good Landlords out of the PRS.

    They think they are untouchable - well so did Jimmy Savile until...............

  • icon

    Typical. I’d expect nothing less from these hypocritical ‘we’ll-NEVER-actually-provide-accommodation’ arses.

  • G romit

    This is symptomatic of the disconnect between the Shelter workers on the ground and its fatcat executives. On the ground the people want to work with Landlords, but the executive just want to bash Landlords and Letting Agents.


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    I don't see the problem, they can always ask their colleagues for the location of the nearest foodbank.

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    Follow Larry's lead at the Alliance and boycott B&Q until they stop sponsoring Shelter!

  • S l
    • S l
    • 07 December 2018 11:48 AM

    how do you boycott nationwide building society?


    By not using The Mortgage Works which is part of Nationwide.

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    And the bad publicity keeps on coming. Maybe the public are now starting to see this faux charity for what it is...... at last


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