Unite, youth and community members have overwhelmingly voted to accept a new two year deal after the Local Government Association (LGA) employers rowed back on plans to tear up the ‘pink book’.
The two year deal, which safeguards the joint negotiating committee (JNC) terms and conditions for youth and community workers, known as the ‘pink book’, has also been unanimously accepted by the JNC staff side unions; the NUT, UCU and Unison.
Over 75 per cent of Unite members voted to accept the offer in a consultative ballot which closed last week (14 September).
It is a significant victory for the country’s youth and community workers following a vocal campaign by the joint side unions, led by Unite.
The campaign exposed the employer’s plans to replace the ‘pink book’ with the less generous terms and conditions of the NJC ‘green book’ for local government workers, without the consent of the staff trade unions.
Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, Unite national officer and staff side secretary for the JNC Pink book called the news “a great outcome for youth and community workers working in local government and the voluntary sector across England.”
“Without the JNC pink book, the youth work professional qualification would have been consigned to the history books,” he said.
“Unite will continue to protect and defend the youth work profession and the JNC pink book and campaign for organisations working in the voluntary and not for profit sector to adopt the agreement,” Jarrett-Thorpe added.
“You just need to look to Devon which has established an independent social enterprise to run its youth services to see that this is possible and can be achieved.”
The JNC is a unique collective bargaining body that has been central to the growth of youth services and the development of youth work since 1961. It includes extra annual leave entitlement in recognition of the stressful and unsocial hours associated with youth work.