Shelter’s staff start unprecedented two-week strike

More than 600 workers at the housing and homeless charity Shelter have started an unprecedented fortnight of strike action in a dispute over pay.

Unite the Union, which accused the charity’s management of refusing to enter into meaningful negotiations, said a 3% pay hike this year has left many of Shelter’s own staff unable to pay their rent.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham commented: “It is unforgivable that workers at Shelter find themselves actually being haunted by the prospect of being made homeless.

“Shelter has sufficient reserves to pay its hardworking and dedicated staff a decent par rise but it has chosen not to.

“Our members at Shelter will receive Unite’s complete and unyielding support in their fight for a better deal.”

The strike action will end on Friday 16th December.

Tim Gutteridge, Shelter’s director of finance and strategy enablement, commented: “Regrettably, the cost-of-living crisis is impacting both our colleagues and operational costs, and we are doing everything we can to navigate these challenging economic times.

“Industrial action is not the outcome we wanted after months of talks with the union, but we fully respect people’s right to strike.

“Some of our services and shops will be temporarily impacted during the strike, but we are making every effort to continue to serve those in need of our help. Anyone who needs urgent housing advice should visit to access our digital advice, and services information.

“Our ambition remains trying to support colleagues through this difficult period, while being able to deliver our frontline services and campaign work.

“This year we gave all staff a pay rise – which for non-management staff means an increase of between 8% and 12.3% – consisting of a 3% consolidated increase and a one-off payment of £1,500.

“As a Real Living Wage employer, Shelter is also implementing the Real Living Wage Foundation’s increase of 10.1% from December 2022, much earlier than required, benefiting the colleagues who receive this at the earliest opportunity.”



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  1. TB

    Ha Ha, this headline for some reason just makes me smile.

  2. Highstreetblues

    I watched an interview with a Shelterite on GB News yesterday. Hilarious. These guys live on a different planet but unfortunately have caused so much damage to our industry. Moaning about high rents when ironically it’s their charity that’s been part of the problem. He said Shelter are sitting on a reserve of £17m so can afford the pay rise. How about providing some actual properties for the homeless instead?

  3. BillyTheFish

    It seems like there’s some info Shelter are holding back as I’d expect an 8 – 12.3% increase + £1500 would be accepted by most employees.

    They wouldn’t be skewing the data would they? Surely not Shelter.

  4. Robert_May

    Before Shelter started to  vocally campaign against my customers and my customers’ customers I used to quietly give to Shelter and would advocate giving to Shelter


    When they began to put their own commercial interests ahead of those they were trying to help I stopped and started to question  what they actually do with the money they collect on the basis they are helping the homeless.

    I strongly believe those served a section 8 notice or those  who’ve  come to the end of an AST or periodic tenancy would be better served by a properly organised extension to the redress schemes that would work with sector stakeholders rather than against them.


  5. jeremy1960

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if shelter staff failed to pay their rent and were served notice by the landlords.  Aren’t they lucky though that they work for polly who would leap to their aid and provide them with alternative housing as soon as that notice landed on the doormat…… oh hang on a minute, shelter housing people? Nope! Shelter assisting with rent arrears? Nope!

    Perhaps once shelter staff see reality of their constant vilification of the PRS, they will understand?

    You reap what you sow shelter!

  6. Diogenes

    I find it incredible, an organisation which could do so much good manages to alienate itself from a whole industry rather than work with them. Such a wasted opportunity.

    1. Robert_May

      I don’t think you quite understand what Shelter is and why there is no room for any form of positive for the opposition.

      Without conflict with landlords and the letting industry, without something to challenge Shelter is a Suffolk Colt lawnmower to a homeowner with plastic grass

  7. AcornsRNuts

    At last a strike I can give my wholehearted support to, but not my money!

  8. EGIL

    I wish people would research charities, not that I would call them that, before giving them money. They are only interested in making a profit and giving advice to people who wish to rent dodge.

    For those who require help, they are a waste of time and unfortunately take the space of other worthwhile causes.

    1. A W

      I agree wholeheartedly, Shelter is not a Charity but a campaign group.

  9. mywayorthehiway

    File this one in the ‘you couldnt make it up’ section

  10. Scottish_Mist42

    I had previously given Shelter the benefit of the doubt and regularly donated because overall I felt they did more good than bad.  However after their anti landlord/agent advertising campaign earlier this year it almost felt like a declaration of war so those donations immediately stopped.  Therefore I view this news with a great deal of satisfaction, which is unfortunate, but they started it!    

  11. Woodentop

    So shelter are going to represent their own staff when they get possession notices for not paying the rent because they don’t pay them a fair wage! Lol.

  12. htsnom79

    I reckon break even in the PRS as a tenant is close to 2k pcm accounting for utilities and a more or less decent 3 bed south of birmingham north of the M25, not funny.

  13. Neil Robinson

    Hopefully it might shut them up for a week or two.

  14. letstalk

    S’alright, Polly will dip her hand in her pocket to pay off the arrears of anyone in trouble from her £122k salary, surely? After all it wouldn’t do for her to be doing better than anyone else (or do her rules against regarding working hard an earning enough to do better for ones self not apply to her own self?).


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