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Staff at east London charity to strike over salary cuts

PUBLISHED: 11:32 03 October 2011

Staff at an east London based charity are set to strike over plans to slash their pay by thousands of pounds a year while executives' salaries are untouched.

Workers at homeless charity Centrepoint will meet today (Monday October 3) to agree strike dates after members of union Unite voted 70 per cent in favour of taking to the picket lines.

They say the changes being proposed by the charity, based in Camperdown Street, Aldgate East, will see 100 staff who work in centres across London face severe wage cuts, demotion and redundancy while top executives’ pay is ring-fenced.

Centrepoint confirmed staff will lose up to 10 per cent of pay.

Chief executive Seyi Obakin came under the spotlight earlier this year for accompanying the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their trip to America halfway through pay negotiations with his team.

Unite described Mr Obakin’s trip to join Prince William - a patron of the charity – as “an unnecessary sycophantic jaunt”.

The union’s regional officer, Matt Smith, said: “Unite calls on the senior management to get back round the table to resolve this potential damaging dispute at one of Prince William’s favourite charities.”

Mr Obakin said: “Unite has failed to engage with us throughout the process, resulting in a failure to represent the best interests of its members. The union chooses to use out-of-date accounts information to suit its argument and inflated claims of strike support.”

A third of its contracts for housing and support for the homeless have been lost due to Government spending cuts, Centrepoint said.

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