Pay cuts will devastate Doncaster children’s services, union warns

Doncaster Civic Offices, part of the Doncaster Civic & Cultural Quarter
Doncaster Civic Offices, part of the Doncaster Civic & Cultural Quarter

Massive pay cuts for workers in Doncaster will devastate children’s services in the town, a union has warned.

Many staff working in the Integrated Family Support Services department of Doncaster Council - the service that includes children’s and youth centres - are facing cuts of between £,3000 and £10,000 in a restructure which it is said will decimate the service and lead to a lack of provision for some of the town’s most vulnerable young people.

The current plan involves a downgrading for some of the lowest-paid child care professionals in the authority, including children’s centre staff, youth workers and family support workers.

According to the union Unison staff will, in many instances, be forced to accept lower paid jobs, and a large number have already left the service because of the way they have been treated.

Unison is now calling on management to rethink their plans and has also criticised the fact the changes come on the back of significant savings already delivered by the service and a projected underspend across the council of £1.2 million.

Ashley Harper, Unison area organiser, said: “Our members deliver vital support to children and families across the borough and play a key role in keeping children safe.

“For the council to attempt to demand this same level of service while cutting the pay of already low-paid staff is indefensible and morally wrong.

“Given the council has failed to address our concerns, we now feel we have no alternative but to ask our members to consider industrial action to defend their service, their pay and conditions and to demand the council changes course.

“Doncaster Council has had many opportunities to get this service right and has failed to do so.”