Over 400 staff at Shelter due to go on strike over ‘derisory’ pay offer

Staff at Shelter are due to go on strike for three days next month in a protest over pay.

The 400-plus employees who belong to the union Unite are taking their 72-hour action after a 1% pay offer plus a further one-off 1%.

Unite described the offer as “derisory”, saying that Shelter’s workforce has had a pay cut of 11% in real terms since 2010 because of a series of below-inflation pay rises.

In statements provided by Unite members, Shelter staff said they felt under-valued but were working above and beyond capacity each day.

One said: “I am very worried about the implications of this on my own financial obligations and responsibilities.

“We are here to support people on low incomes, but Shelter staff are now facing this themselves.”

Another said: “Shelter’s vision of a safe secure affordable home for everyone is a bit meaningless considering I am struggling to pay my mortgage every month.”

Unite said that it was “entirely unfair that the wages of Shelter workers have been declining at the same time that the charity’s reserves have been increasing”.

Unite is seeking an increase of 3.5% in line with the Retail Price Index as it stood in April, or a flat rate increase of £1,100, for all workers at Shelter.

Last year, Shelter recorded a surplus of £1m and has £15.7m in reserves.

The strike is due to start on December 11. Unite says if it is not resolved, there will be further action in the new year.

We have approached Shelter for comment.


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  1. danny

    Why does a charity have £15m in reservres when there are people on the street ? “I’m sorry , would love to help but we are keeping this money until some better than you becomes homeless”

    1. Robert May

      Shelter is an advice line for people faced with homelessness not a charity to help the homeless, effectively it is business like any legal helpline only this one takes cash from the public and corporate sponsors who think  the charity is  providing accommodation and meals.


      What is the £15m for? Champagne darling, Champagne!!!  and very luctrative executive salaries

      1. wilberforce80

        I home they go on strike and stay on strike. They are not a true charity but a farce. It is a politically motivated group paid from charitable funds who do nothing but obstruct lawful possession orders by innocent landlords. They actually promote homelessness by decimating the PRS for political ends. It is time they were exposed.


        1. Bless You

          The estate agents whose jobs they have cost weren’t worried about inflation. Just having a job was enough.
          apparently estate agents aren’t normal people before entering the industry.. they are like wizards just waiting from the age of 6 to rip off tenants. Bless you all

    2. Jonti500

      In my neck of the woods Shelter could easily buy say 100 properties with 15 million with plenty left over. That’s 100 families housed and probably 300 singles found a home. Then Shelter would really mean exactly what it says on the tin.

      1. singlelayer

        That’s just their cash reserves. They have an annual budget of some £60m and if they did as investors do and put, say, 25% down, that would be more like 1,600 properties for 3,000-5,000 people currently homeless. If the set up as a business similar to an RSL, they could turn a profit and continue to provide homes. However…the real reason they will never, ever house anybody is because the moment a homeless charity hands over a set of keys they enter into an existential crisis. Unless they are truly intending to house their clients for free, indefinitely, they will sooner or later have to evict someone. The moment they do, they cannot be an effective homeless/advice charity as they are then contributing to the very problem they exist to assist with. Thus they will always bully and harass real housing providers, but will never do it themselves!

  2. 40yearvetran08

    Got to keep enough in the kitty for the CEO and board member bonus’s!

  3. kittygirl06

    Yes you would think they would look after their staff.

    I would like them to be made to have a public database of all the cases they have helped on.

    If they produced the information ref Court cases they have represented a g ainst Section 21 and Section 8 this would be invaluable in accessing the reasons for the tenant being evicted.  This information idesparately needs to be recorded currently it is not.

    I would also like the Bailiffs who evict to take photos and add this to the database.

    Then when Shelter post that evictions from the prs is the biggest cause of homelessness they can correct this.  They can give details of rent arrears trashed property etc.

    They should be holding criminal tenants to account not supporting them.


    1. JMK

      I feel for the poor souls that are employees of this faux charity and are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.  How ironic it will be that any of them that rent and fall into arrears will then possibly face eviction.  No doubt the Shelter legal bods will turn up in Court to defend them.  I can see the face of the Judge now when he hears the full details.

    2. CountryLass

      I have no issue when they help Tenants whose Landlord has dodgy wiring, damp, broken windows etc or the ones being evicted because they asked for the heating to be fixed.

      I do take issue with them helping Tenants who refuse, or are unable to pay their rent, or the ones who trash the property or cause massive issues with the neighbours, and the Landlord wants to get the property back. Landlords are not charitable institutions who house people for free, with no costs to themselves or concern over the cost of the maintenance of the property.

  4. J1

    Will they end up on the streets?

    1. The_Maluka

      If they do at least they know who to phone . . .

      1. CountryLass

        Not that they will actually do anything mind…

  5. Manchester Bob

    and I thought they worked at Shelter for free to do a bit of charity work, along with those chuggers ( charity muggers ) asking for your hard earned cash.  The only interaction i’ve had with Shelter was them telling a non paying tenant to stay put till you get evicted, and you know what he did just that.  Thanks Shelter.

    1. Gromit

      Shelter exists for the benfit of Shelter period. It does its utmost to increase the number of ‘customers’ (homeless people), to justify getting ever higher Government grants, and duping large corporates, the media and general public to support & donate to them.
      Perhaps if they actually worked with the people who actually provide homes for people instead of lobbying for their destruction, then homesless would go down. But, hey, they be doing themselves out of a job, fat-cat salaries and who’d then pay for they nice cosy homes!

  6. Rayb92

    How ironic.. Still a decent pay rise for Polly and the rest of the board though

    Maybe landlords and agents may get a few days off the bashing campaign

  7. RosBeck73

    Maybe some of them will be disgruntled enough to go to the newspapers and spill the beans about what they think of Shelter’s priorities and activities. They can’t all be happy with Shelter’s role in defending tenants however bad they are against landlords however good they are and also Shelter’s destructive national campaigning – including wasting huge amounts of money calling for mandatory 5 year tenancies when most tenants don’t want them. This kind of ‘advocacy’ on a local and national level is certainly not a force for good.

  8. Cyberpunk35

    As ever Bob May is right. This organisation does an extremely poor job of delivering actual and practical assistance to people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. At best this is a lobby group that have damaged the property industry by taking cheap shots from the sidelines.

    There is no transparency with their data, their processes or their impact.

    As far as I’m concerned they could double staff salaries and it would still be wasted money.

    Shelter is not fit for purpose.


  9. Penguin

    Oh dear, what a pity, never mind.

  10. Gromit

    “……were working above and beyond capacity each day.”


    Perhaps if Shelter stopped bashing Landlords and lobbying Government to increase taxation and regulation, then fewer people would be homeless, and their workload not so great.

    Or is this Shelter trying to justify its existence and create more work for itself?

  11. Gromit

    Shelter have wooed the media, large corporates and the general public into believing they provide shelter for the homeless. In reality they provide no a single roof over anyone’s head except for their fat-cat executives who have very nice homes (please keep your donation rolling in so they can continue to live the lifestyle to which they are used to, and the people they supposedly help can only ever aspire to).

  12. Thomas Flowers

    Using a faux service to draw in huge amounts of other peoples money that enriches the few executives at the expense of many employees and actual homeless people whilst sitting on a huge cash reserve to facilitate the continuation of this gravy train?

    Sounds like a familiar business plan?

    Have these few cash-rich executives considered making their employees go ‘self-employed’ yet?

    As I have said before, perhaps Bus Shelter would be a more apt name as they do not home anyone?



  13. IWONDER36

    Please, Sir, I want some more.


    Please, Sir, I want some more.


    Catch them!

    ****** them

    Hold them

    Scold them!

    Pounce them!
    Trounce them!
    Pick him up and bounce them!

    What do they think we are, a charity?


  14. new life

    Perrhaps us as an industry should go and stand on the picket line and harrass  their execs amd management like they have been picketing and harrasing inocent agents.


    Pot and Kettle spring to mind.

    1. Simonr6608

      Except they haven’t been on the picket lines, they managed to convince the great unwashed and students to do it for them.

  15. PossessionFriendUK39

    No Shelter, I think would be a better name.

    I do feel sorry for Shelter having a bit of bad press ( NOT ! )  perhaps they’ll know what its like to be on the receiving end now.


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