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Fri 26 August 2011

Quarriers staff vote yes to strike action to oppose 20% pay cuts

The men and women who care for some of Scotland's most vulnerable adults and distressed children have voted massively for strike action. UNISON members at Quarriers are determined to resist brutal pay cuts on staff which will see over 560 staff take a pay cut of 10% while others will lose as much as 23%.

The postal ballot for strike action returned a 76% yes vote for strike action and an even higher 85% result for action short of a strike. When the ballot result was announced UNISON repeated their offer to take the ongoing dispute to Acas for arbitration, but Quarriers management have spurned the offer.

In addition to pay cuts, which will see some members lose £400 a month. There are also proposed cuts to sick pay, increased pension contributions and other protections removed.

Stephen Brown, UNISON Quarriers branch Secretary said today:

“The attacks Quarriers are making on our members are unprecedented. No one can cope with a 23% pay cut and for Quarriers to suggest that they will set up a Hardship Fund for their own staff funded out of their own pay cuts shows how much the organisation has lost touch with its values.

William Quarrier set up Quarriers in the 1870s to help underprivileged children not to use wage cuts to drive staff into poverty”.

Speaking today Simon Macfarlane UNISON Regional Organiser said:

“Our members want to be doing their jobs caring for people - not arguing with Quarriers management. But the proposed pay cuts will force people out of the job and impact on the work that they do with the people they care for.

“A 3 to 1 vote for strike action must surely send a message to Quarriers that their proposals are unacceptable. We call on Quarriers to get back round the table and to remove their threat to dismiss and re-engage all their staff – let’s take this to ACAS and see if it can be resolved

In recent weeks Quarriers have seemed to be more intent on attacking UNISON instead of negotiating. We call on these attacks and for Quarriers to get down to the real work of trying to find a way forward.


Note to editors

1. The ballot result was for Strike Action: voting “Yes” 219(69%) Votes “No” 69(24%) 3 spoilt papers. Turnout 44%. For industrial action short of a strike votes were voting “Yes”: 245(84.8%) Total number voting “No”:44 (15.2%)

For further information please contact:
Stephen Brown (Branch Secretary) 07584 503858
Simon MacFarlane,( Regional Organiser) 07700 3194132