Mark Whitehead 14 May 2018

Unions submit pay rise claim for youth and community workers

Unions have submitted a pay claim for youth and community workers they say would narrow a growing gap between falling wages and rising costs caused by austerity.

The proposed two-year deal submitted jointly by Unite, Unison, the National Education Union and the University and College Union would mean rises of 5% or £1,000, whichever is greater, in September and the same next year.

The claim, on behalf of several thousand staff in the local government, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors, also seeks to move the lowest paid onto the 'real living wage' of £8.75 an hour or £10.20 in London.

The unions say youth and community workers have had their wages cut by 21% in real terms after years of pay freezes or below inflation increases since the introduction of austerity policies in 2010.

They also blame the 'devastating' impact of a recent spike in youth crime on a £400m funding cut which has meant hundreds of youth clubs and play centres being shut and youth worker losing their jobs.

Unite national officer, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, said youth and community workers have been left struggling to make ends meet and have seen their profession crumble through de-professionalisation and downgrading.

He said: 'It’s time to pay up for youth and community workers and invest in the services children and young people receive.'

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