Youth care strike called off after 9.25% pay deal agreed

Photo: Depositphotos

Youth care workers have called off a planned strike after unions and employers agreed a 9.25% pay rise.

Some 33,000 people working in the sector will receive an extra 8% in January and a further 1.25% in July, on top of a 3% increase this year.

The two sides also agreed to bring in measures to reduce the workload, including a so-called “digital red button” that staff can use if they feel overburdened.

“By pressing the red button workers are basically saying: this far and no further,” said FNV union spokeswoman Maaike van Aar. “It’s a clear message that they have done all they can to resolve the issue.”

Workers had been due to stage a walkout this week after the FNV, CNV and FBZ unions rejected an earlier deal worth 6.7%. Instead the unions will recommend the new agreement to their members.

Van Aar described the pay deal as “historic” and said she hoped it would reassure colleagues who were on the brink of quitting.

“If the employers hadn’t taken these signs seriously, it may well have caused irreparable damage to labour relations,” Van Aar said. “We are hugely relieved that it has not reached that point and we can now work together to restore the sector.”

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