Substance misuse workers employed by the charity Addaction struck last week, after management refused to honour a two percent pay rise following the NHS Agenda for Change pay rate increase. This had been promised after former NHS workers were TUPED over to the charity. There had been last minute talks at ACAS earlier – negotiations that had been unable to resolve the dispute.
There were lively pickets outside Addaction’s offices in Leigh and Wigan. The strike was well supported by Wigan Trade Council, and there were banners from the local RMT branch, Salford Unison and others.
One worker who wished to remain anonymous said “We love our work and make a crucial contribution to the care of some of the most vulnerable people in our community. In desperation, we are taking strike action to fight for the pay we were promised for the vital work we perform.”
Another worker said “We were promised and reassured that there would be no changes in our conditions of service. Everything would remain the same, we were assured, and we would receive our rise like the rest of the NHS workforce. After ten years of austerity a two percent rise will not restore our levels of pay. We must fight this, because if we don’t the management will see this as a weakness and they will come for our holidays and pensions like the rest of the public sector. We must use every method to win including the legal path and more strikes if necessary.”
Another worker said “this is a charity and it certainly doesn’t begin at home – except paying very high salaries to those at the top”.
Management have finally agreed to talks this week .