Northern Ireland moves forward
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2001CYWU is now officially recognised by all of the Library Boards in Northern Ireland and many of the larger voluntary organisations. Facilities agreements have followed, giving Branch officers proper time off to organise their Branch and membership support work. Recruitment across the sectors has followed.
National Caseworker Dave Proctor commented, “This has taken a little longer than we would have liked, but it now puts the union in a position to create the professional voice that the Youth Service and related fields so desperately need.”
Dave Proctor will attend CYWU Northern Ireland Branch meetings on a regular basis over the next year to provide training and support to members.
In a recent visit to Northern Ireland to meet members, Ministers and youth work bodies, General Secretary Doug Nicholls was pleased to hear that not everything from the Youth Service review eighteen months ago was on hold.
Implementation groups are considering various aspects of youth work development, a strategic review of Youth Service funding will take place between January and April 2002. CYWU has consolidated its representative position on the Training Board and has welcomed proposals for more cross border collaboration on training issues and the formation of a new cross border youth work alliance. Doug Nicholls has urged those seeking full endorsement status in Northern Ireland or across the border to recognise that this will mean a one hundred per cent adoption of JNC terms and conditions rather than the exploitative cherry picking that takes place at the moment.
In meetings with Ministers the Union has welcomed the new Executive Programme increases in Youth Service funding and the attention that will be given to making youth centres and youth work more responsive to the needs of disabled young people. A slight incremental increase in youth work funding over the next two years has also been welcomed, but is not seen as sufficient to properly develop the service at this critical time when community relations and reconciliation are so important.
The work force has not been represented on a variety of key decision making bodies in Northern Ireland and it is now time to redress this imbalance so that key practitioner voices can be heard.