St Mungo’s strikers bring solidarity to the junior doctors’ strike rally on Whitehall, London  (Picture: SMUnite/Twitter)

Bosses at St Mungo’s homeless charity offered the strikers a bad deal this week. It included a 3 percent rise this year, with a one-off £350 payment as backdated pay to December 2022.

“It’s worse than the previous deal,” Unite union striker Cornelia says. “It’s like they’re making fun of us.

“They know what we want, so to come back with something else is really disrespectful. We’re shocked. But CEO Emma Haddad is doing it on purpose.

“She seems to say no to whatever we are asking for, lots of us on the picket line think this. It’s about pride from her side and saying to us that we can’t win.

“I went to the supermarket this week and within two days the price of vinegar had gone up by 35 pence. Prices are going up so quickly. Travel has gone up too, so there goes my pay rise.” 

There are more talks at the Acas conciliation service next Monday. Cornelia added, “Haddad said Unite didn’t talk to us about the deal, and she got upset that it was rejected.

“But they did tell us. In fact the union has done what we told them to do—not waste our time on bad offers. We decided in previous meetings that if the bosses don’t offer what we want they should decline it straight away.”

The strikers began voting to extend their strike mandate on Wednesday. Cornelia says, “People are pissed off. It’s a lot of pressure on our mental health, but we really need to win this. We’ve been on strike for a long time but we will continue.

“A big result will be a boost to keep people going. People are using the hardship fund because they can’t manage financially just with strike pay.

“We’re on the pickets in the rain for hours followed by rallies. It’s not easy. But we’ve not come this far to give up. The way Haddad is treating us makes us more determined.”

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