Attacks on Third Sector Terms and Conditions

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2016 Community Service Group Conference
6 November 2015

Following the Chancellor’s budget speech on 8th July 2015 and the introduction of the “National Living Wage” we call on conference to lobby, support and campaign to prevent attacks on terms and conditions of the members working in The Third Sector.

The Third Sector is now further under attack from the employers due to the introduction of this pay increase to staff, although it will only benefit the members over 25 years of age. The change is welcomed but at what cost to our members? The increase will improve the take home pay for some; however for those in receipt of tax credits they are likely to be worse off. In addition there will inevitably be serious damage to the terms and conditions of staff as the employers have to recoup the additional expense from somewhere, as it looks highly unlikely that the additional costs will be borne by the local authorities or other funders. This will means that company sick pay schemes, annual leave and bank holiday & other enhancements are being removed, wiping out any benefit that may be seen from the increased rate of pay. Those staff aged under 25 will see no increase but will nevertheless be affected by any changes to terms and conditions.

Working against a background of budget cuts, staff have been facing greater workload pressures. The resulting increased stress puts the morale of the workforce at risk and poses a long term threat to members’ ability to provide a consistent quality of service. The following will be a pattern that could result from the effect of these changes.

• Increasing demands on the service;

• Reductions in staffing;

• Staff feeling greater stress;

• Staff suffering falling morale;

• The impact of these pressures showing themselves in rising sickness absence, higher staff turnover or declining service standards

There can be no doubt that all Community & Voluntary Sector staff have seen the value of their earnings fall considerably over recent years and evidence suggests that they are also falling behind pay settlements for comparable jobs. Combined with these developments, the last year has seen intensified pressures placed on staff at the same time as greater job choices are opening up for staff in an improving labour market. Therefore, eroding terms & conditions is a blight by the employers ensuring there is little reward for the staff even though their dedication, skill and hard work continues to maintain the high quality of life for the individuals that staff support.

We call on the Community Service Group Executive to:

• Provide bargaining and negotiating advice to branches to enable them to protect members’ terms and conditions.

• Work with UNISON Labour Link Committee to lobby government to ensure that Third Sector organisations are given more funding so that members’ terms and conditions are not decimated.

• Campaign for equal pay for all, under and over 25 years of age.