DRUG and alcohol support workers will go on strike in five consecutive days next week in a dispute over pay.

Thirty staff from Addaction in Leigh and Wigan will begin five days of action on Monday, November, 4 in their fourth round of industrial action over "broken pay promises".

The staff were employed by the NHS but the service, commissioned by Wigan Council, was transferred to the national charity, which has come under fire for its handling of the dispute.

Workers continued to receive pay rises in line with those of NHS employees and were given assurances by the organisation’s managers this would continue into the future.

But when the one per cent pay cap in the NHS was removed from April 2018, Addaction refused to implement the promised wage rise.

The decision, which will cost each support worker around £1,000 per year, was taken without any consultation or discussion with staff.

Picket lines will be in place from Monday to Friday between 8am and noon at Kennedy House on Brunswick Avenue in Leigh and at the Coops Building on Dorning Street in Wigan.

Previous strike days were held on Friday, August 23, Wednesday, September 11, Thursday, September 12, Wednesday, October 9, Thursday, October 10 and Friday, October 11.

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While the dispute is rumbling on, Addaction announced its chief executive Mike Dixon is leaving the charity this month to become the Liberal Democrats' chief executive.

An Addaction spokesman said: "As a charity, we’re committed to providing the best possible support for people who use our treatment services, whilst also providing our staff with a fair wage and good working conditions.

"This is true for all our services, from Cornwall to Wigan, to the north of Scotland.

"Cuts to local authority budgets have significantly reduced funding for drug and alcohol services in recent years, meaning this can be a tough balance to achieve.

“We understand and empathise with the concerns expressed by our colleagues in Wigan and we're doing our best to find a way forward together.

"We’re committed to trying to work through the issues in a way that is fair and sustainable for our staff, the people who use our services and the local community.”