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2005 Local Government Service Group Conference
24 February 2005
Carried as Amended

Conference believes that Playwork and Playworkers are having a very difficult and threatening time due to various local authorities making cuts in play provision and services at a time when they are already grossly underfunded. Playwork has been disrespected and misunderstood despite vast evidence of the great value of the work.

Cuts are being made despite Playworkers as a whole being underpaid.

Playwork has an underlying philosophy, values, qualification criteria and National Occupational Standards; it is a profession in its own rights except in “name” (i.e. endorsement by the Employer’s side). Workers feel undervalued and treated unfairly.

We believe playworkers should be recognised as an essential service and therefore their jobs should be evaluated and properly rewarded within pay and grading reviews.

This Conference calls upon the Service Group Executive to encourage branches to address the specific issues relating to playwork and playworkers within councils, particularly in relation to:

1)Pay and grading reviews

2)Development of workforce training and development plans

Conference notes that, despite being such a small and scattered workforce, UNISON membership in some authorities is high and some groups of playworkers have mounted sustained campaigns on issues including:


b)Hours of work and payment for non-standard hours

c)Workload; and

d)Health & Safety.

UNISON has, however, offered few opportunities for these groups to share information or to network and little leadership from regional or national levels.

Conference therefore instructs the Service Group Executive to:

i)Conduct an audit of levels of membership, organisation and activity among playworkers;

ii)Make proposals for a recruiting and organising strategy with local, regional and national dimensions; and

iii)Produce and circulate information covering issues of major concern to playworkers and offering guidance on organising, campaigning and bargaining.