Unite launches campaign to reach civil society workers

Unite the Union is to launch a campaign to engage with workers in charities which have been “forced to the wall” by government cuts.

The union, which already has 60,000 members from the voluntary sector, will tomorrow launch the ‘Unite for our Society’ campaign to reach out to and assist destabilised workers within the sector.

Unite plans to host online conferences on disputing redundancies and how to fight funding cuts. The campaign will also see it highlight the contribution of the sector to the wider community and encourage workers to join the union.

And cuts to funding and job security are major concerns of charity workers, according to a survey of more than 2,000 of them commissioned by Unite, also released today.

More than 60 per cent of the respondents cited cuts to funding and the potential of job loss as top concerns in the environment of reduced government funding. More than half also cited redundancies and general stress among their major worries.

The union said that the funding cuts and their impact on the voluntary sector undermine the government’s commitment to building a Big Society.

Sally Kosky, the Unite national officer for the not-for-profit sector, said that the cuts threaten to damage the short and long-term health of British civil society.

“As these huge cuts destabilise the third sector, the more hollow the government’s ‘Big Society’ rhetoric sounds. When these services disappear, nothing replaces them,” she said.

“It is delusional to suggest that efficiencies can be made in a sector that already operates on a shoestring or that knights in shining armour will arrive in the form of wealthy private donors. This shows a catastrophic lack of understanding of the realities of the sector.”

 

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