Youth care workers go on strike in protest against high workload

Photo: depositphotos
Photo: depositphotos

Youth care workers across the country are going on strike to protest against the growing workload in the sector.

Workers will not answer calls between noon and 5pm, but crisis response services will continue as normal, the FNV union said.

The union said it is taking direct action after previous calls to the government to relieve its workload by funding more staff positions fell on deaf ears.

‘We can’t keep this up, the workload is huge,’ FNV’s youth care administrator Maaike van der Aar told RTV Utrecht.

‘Every youth care worker is looking after 18 families, when eight is a manageable proportion,’ she said.

The union says it will consider further action, including making fewer home visits unless legal protection minister Franc Weerwind comes up with plans to reduce the workload.

Weerwind and Maarten van Ooijen, junior minister for youth and protection, have pledged an extra €40 million to improve working conditions in the short term, but the FNV say this is not enough.

The cabinet has already been forced to ditch plans to cut €500 million from the local government budget for youth care after a series of demonstrations were held in the spring.

There were also doubts about whether its plans would pass the senate, where the coalition parties do not have a majority. A proposal to make up the shortfall by introducing a personal contribution for families receiving youth care has also been strongly criticised by opposition parties.

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