Oxfam statement on Unite strike

- Published:
- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/37i6pu/

An Oxfam spokesperson said: “While we are disappointed that today’s strike has gone ahead, we do understand the frustration of colleagues who are facing a steeply rising cost of living.

“We are proud to be a Real Living Wage employer and are doing what we can to address colleagues’ concerns within the limits of the resources we have available. Communities we work with to fight poverty are also facing rising costs, so our resources are stretched but we are committed to finding a solution. We hope that discussions with Unite taking place at ACAS today will help us move forward.

“We are doing everything we can to minimise disruption and to support all colleagues – those on strike and those who are working – through this period.”

Notes to editors:

About three-quarters of Oxfam’s 541 shops are open today.

Oxfam GB has a long-standing (since 2010) collective bargaining agreement with Oxfam Joint Trade Union Shop, which is currently made up of Unite and the Independent Oxfam Union (IOU).

Unite members voted to reject a revised pay offer made by Oxfam in August while members of IOU voted to accept.

Oxfam values its relationship with both unions and would have much preferred to have reached agreement with both.

Oxfam GB has more than 1800 staff in the UK.

Oxfam reserves

Oxfam has worked hard to rebuild its unrestricted reserves following the pandemic but they have fallen since March 2022 (figures quoted by Unite) and are currently at the lower end of what is necessary to allow Oxfam to weather future financial shocks. We expect them to remain at the lower end of the acceptable range over the coming few years.

Oxfam GB pay award

  • A minimum salary increase of 6% or £1,750 (whichever is higher), for all UK-based colleagues who started before December 2022.
  • All staff below the highest two pay grades will get an additional one-off payment of £1,000 (pro-rata for part-time staff).
  • When adjustments to our pay ranges are taken into account, the average salary increase as a result of this offer is 7.7%.
  • The pay award is for UK-based staff.

Real national living wage

  • As an accredited Living Wage employer, Oxfam is committed to paying a Living Wage, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. This is a higher voluntary Living Wage than the National Living Wage set by the government.
  • The Living Wage increased to £10.90 per hour (£11.95 per hour for employees based in London Boroughs) for implementation by May 2023. Given the cost-of -living increases, we introduced the new rates five months earlier than our normal date for implementation, effective 1 November 2022.
  • Under our award, a further lump sum payment would be made to current employees on the Living Wage rates in October 2022, equivalent to backdating the Living Wage increase to 22 September 2022 (the date the new rates were announced).

Press contact

For comments, interviews, or information please contact the Oxfam GB Media Team: