JNC Youth and Community Workers - Response to the Staff Side’s Pay and Conditions Claim 2021

The Employers' Side wishes to put on record its thanks for the dedication and significant role that Youth and Community Workers undertake in delivering youth services in the statutory and voluntary sectors which make a difference to young people’s lives. The importance of this work and activity has been particularly important during the Covid pandemic period.


Jim Kennedy
Staff Side Secretary  
JNC for Youth and Community Workers
Unite House
128 Theobald’s Road
London
WC1X 8TN  


26 August 2021

Dear Jim

JNC Youth and Community Workers - Response to the Staff Side’s Pay and Conditions Claim 2021

Following our meeting of the JNC for Youth and Community Workers Joint Secretaries today, I am writing to confirm the final response of the Employers’ Side to the Staff Side’s pay and conditions claim for 2021. 

The Employers' Side wishes to put on record its thanks for the dedication and significant role that Youth and Community Workers undertake in delivering youth services in the statutory and voluntary sectors which make a difference to young people’s lives. The importance of this work and activity has been particularly important during the Covid pandemic period.

However, as you will be aware, this continues to be an extremely challenging time for local government finance.

As a result of the clear and consistent message from our consultation process with local authorities, we have set out our offer and response below that is within the limits of affordability, and in terms of pay, which is consistent with offers made to other parts of the local government workforce. 

The Employers Side’s response to your claim is as follows (in bold):

1.    A 10% increase across all grades.

The Employers’ Side rejects this element of your claim. We are able to make an offer of 1.75% on all pay points and allowances as of 1 September 2021. Any agreed award will be backdated to this date.

2.    Address work-life balance and time off in lieu – by making the current guidance on work-life balance mandatory, to ensure compensatory leave (TOIL) is always accrued for extra hours worked

The Employers’ Side rejects this element of your claim. We believe that that this should be left to local determination but we are able to propose that the current guidance on work life balance be updated and to include provisions around good practice on TOIL.

3.    Each working week should contain two consecutive days that are designated as non-working days. Any TOIL for residential work will be completely separate from these designated non-working days.

The Employers’ Side is unable to agree to this part of your claim. We believe that local employers should have the flexibility to determine this.

4.    Formally define an evening session as any session that finishes after 6pm.

The Employers’ Side has given this element of your claim consideration but we have decided to reject this. We provided some initial thoughts earlier this year on guidance on this issue which we would be keen to develop with you. We remain committed on working jointly with you to address any concerns but our position is that local authorities should have flexibility around when an evening session should start/finish. 

6.    Move to a 35-hour working week without loss of pay – with sufficient time for planning and admin.

The Employers’ Side rejects this element of the claim on the grounds of affordability.

7.    Joint work on race and gender pay gaps in youth work.

The Employers’ Side accepts this element of your claim although we would welcome further clarity on exactly what work you wish to undertake. Last year we agreed to a joint workforce survey that would focus on race and gender pay gaps which we hope to be able to progress shortly. Therefore we are able to commit to further discussions with the Staff Side on a without prejudice basis.

I would be grateful if you could confirm your response and if the Staff Side will consult its membership on the offer, whether it will be recommended and the timescale for your consultation. We hope that this offer will form the basis of an agreement for 2021.

Yours sincerely

David Algie
Employers’ Side Secretariat