Neil Parry, UNISON branch secretary. Photo credit: Natasha Hirst
Careers advisors working with unemployed people and school leavers have voted overwhelmingly to reject proposals to improve their pay by just 1 per cent.
Public services union, UNISON has today (Wednesday), announced that in a ballot of careers staff, 80 per cent do not accept the offer from Careers Wales.
Despite a 20 per cent increase in living costs since 2013, pay awards to Careers Wales staff total just 6 per cent in that time. Now their employer has told them if they want more than a 1 per cent increase, there will likely need to be redundancies.
UNISON says Careers Wales staff have been caught up in a repeated funding debate between Careers Wales and Welsh government. Their employer blames Welsh government for a financial shortfall and says there is no more money for a higher pay rise. Welsh government says the matter is for Careers Wales to resolve.
UNISON is urging Vaughan Gething, minister for the economy, to intervene to ensure adequate funding. This would include provision for a fair pay rise and would enable Careers Wales to plan future a pay strategy working with UNISON.
Welsh government has not significantly increased the Careers Wales budget since 2013.
The trade union says it hopes the comprehensive rejection of the pay offer will be a signal both Careers Wales and Welsh government need to address the situation urgently and together.
Neil Parry, UNISON branch secretary said,
“Careers staff are bitterly disappointed to find themselves in this position. We offer an excellent service to the public, but our wages have nosedived over the last decade.
“One per cent in real terms is a pay cut and it’s made staff angry. We deserve a fair increase to our wages.
“It’s time for Welsh government and Careers Wales to get around the table with UNISON. We need to work sensibly together to invest in the workforce.
“I would say to the Welsh government, if you value your Careers Wales service, please fund us properly. Providing budgets which have barely increased year on year for the last decade, means trying to find an inflation-led pay rise is practically impossible.
“I want to believe that the minister will be thinking in the very uncertain economic climate, Wales will need high qualified careers advisors to help the thousands of people made redundant and into work. This is exactly the time you need to invest in us. The expert careers guidance will never be more important than now.”
Notes for editors
- Careers Wales staff have worked through the lockdown, working from home to support people; young school leavers into education and training; unemployed people, people furloughed and those made redundant
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Cymru Wales press officer on 07816 53 83 97