Social workers’ wages could be frozen in real terms until 2011, the Treasury indicated last week.
A report on next year’s spending review said public sector pay deals should be based on the government’s 2 per cent inflation target throughout the spending review period.
This will affect social services and Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service staff.
Family court unions Napo and Unison are waiting for Cafcass to receive a remit from the Department for Education and Skills to negotiate a settlement for 2006-7, having claimed a 5 per cent rise.
Chancellor Gordon Brown had already mooted a pay freeze until 2009 (Pay cap ‘would hit care staff numbers’).
Napo assistant general secretary Jonathan Ledger said: “If Cafcass simply tows the Treasury line it would make the offer bordering on the insulting.”
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Limiting pay increases to 2 per cent will just undo much of the work that has been done in the past few years in raising pay levels to improve recruitment and retention.”
How salaries are agreed
Pay for council social workers is negotiated between employers and unions through the national joint council for local government services. A three-year deal was negotiated in 2004, with rises of 2.75 per cent in 2004-5 and 2.95 per cent in 2005-6 and 2006-7.