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Trade Unions demand that employers and the Government pay up for youth work and youth services

JANUARY 29, 2020

pay up

Joint pay claim from Unite, Unison, NEU and UCU asks for a £1000 or 5% pay increase for youth and community workers on the JNC Pink Book after almost a decade of pay restraint.

The four unions representing thousands of Youth and Community Workers across England and Wales in Local Government and the community, not for profit and voluntary sectors have today submitted a pay claim that attempts to narrow the growing gap between declining wages and the rising cost of living since 2010.

The two year pay claim from September  2018 seeks to move the lowest paid staff onto the real living wage of £8.75 an hour (£10.20 in London). The unions also want all employees to receive £1000 or a 5% pay increase (whichever is greater) a year in 2018 and 2019.
The claim follows eight years of government-imposed pay restraint, which has seen wages either frozen or held to a one per cent increase for the majority of youth and community workers.  They have also see thousands of youth worker jobs being cut, hundreds of youth and play centres closed and funding cuts of more than £400 million since 2010.  Meanwhile, there has been an increase in violence that has affected young people all across the country since the start of 2018.  
Unite, Unison, NEU and UCU say that it is time to pay up for youth work and value the services children and young people receive.
Unite national officer, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “Youth and Communities workers have been assaulted by the Government austerity policies over the last eight years with thousands losing their jobs, seeing the crucial services they provide to children and young people cut to the bone and seeing their profession crumble through deprofessionalisation and downgrading.”

“Youth and Community workers provide an invaluable service at the heart of their communities on a daily basis and deserve better than the pay cuts that have left them struggling to make ends meet.”
Unison deputy head of local government Mike Short said: “Youth and community workers do invaluable work supporting young people, but they and their families are struggling to keep afloat. With every price increase, their standard of living gets worse.

“New recruits and trained, experienced staff are essential for the smooth running of youth and community services. Yet poverty pay means employers are struggling to attract and hold on to staff, and those left are doing more for less.”
Andrew Morris, NEU (NUT section) Assistant General Secretary, said: “Youth workers are suffering the worst squeeze on their pay in living memory and suffering workload pressures as services are slashed.  This is undermining the quality of services for children and young people.”

Andrew Harden, UCU Head of Further Education,  said:  “Enough is enough. Our vital and under-appreciated youth workers must get a pay rise of at least five per cent to compensate for almost a decade of real-terms wage cuts. That is what they need and deserve.”


Notes to editors:

- The pay anniversary is the 1st September each year

- Unite,  UNISON, NEU and UCU lodged the claim today (Friday) with the Joint Negotiating Committee that represents Local authorities and Community, Not for Profit and Voluntary organisations employing youth and community workers on JNC Pink book terms and conditions  in England, Wales and followed by similar organisations in Northern Ireland.­­­­­­­­

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