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Date 23 April 2007

Quarriers strike action to start

UNISON members working for Quarriers, one of Scotland's biggest charities, will be taking part in selective strike action on Wednesday 25 April 2007 between the hours of 7.00am and 5.00pm at the following Quarriers projects: Seafield School, 86 Eglinton Road, Ardrossan KA22 8NX; Stopover Project, 189 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G41 1PS; James Shields Project, Glasgow G41; North Ayrshire Supported Accommodation, Saltcoats KA21.

Simon Macfarlane, Regional Officer, today said "It is highly regrettable Quarriers intransigence and belligerence has led to this action being necessary, our members are now determined to show Quarriers how angry they are about their pay and how the charity has handled this dispute."

This is the first day of action following members voting 2 to 1 to go on strike to seek a better pay deal and against Quarriers decision to impose an award of 2.5% rather than negotiate a settlement with UNISON.

Simon Macfarlane continued, "This first day of action will cause major headaches for Quarriers, whilst only involving less than 20% of our members at this stage. I have no doubt the action will be fully supported by our members, having met with them over recent days I know how fired up they are."

"If Quarriers don't improve and repackage their offer they can look forward to more and bigger stoppages. That is in no one's interests so once again UNISON calls on Quarriers to make some move towards us and use the existing monies to target the lowest paid. We can't have those at the top walking away with tens of hundreds more in pay whilst many of our members are struggling on an increase of a couple of hundred pounds a year. The extent of poverty amongst our members working for one of Scotland's biggest charities is a scandal. No wonder they ask who cares for the carers?"


Notes to Editors

1) The ballot result was. For strike action:- Yes 65%, No 35%

2) These projects have been chosen in order to cause significant disruption to Quarriers whilst not unduly affecting service users, or where it is possible for alternative arrangements to be made.

Pickets will be mounted at Seafield School and the Stopover Project from 6.30 am. At 11.00 am pickets will be bussed to Quarriers Village (by Bridge of Weir) for a March and Rally through the village which is the site of the charity's HQ at 12 noon. The media are welcome to visit either of these pickets, we would ask you not to appear at the other locations so as not to draw attention to clients. Additionally UNISON would ask the press to be mindful about not identifying individual service users or their addresses.

3) UNISON's Revitalise manifesto calls for voluntary organisations to be funded on the basis of full cost recovery, see http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/revitalise/lgmanifesto.pdf .

For Further Information Please Contact:

Simon Macfarlane (Regional Organiser) 0845 355 0845 (w) 07703 194 132 (m) 0141 581 4735 (h) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)