Derry & Strabane Council coaching pay rate to increase to £20 an hour

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The rate paid to coaching staff in Derry City and Strabane Council sports and leisure facilities has been increased from £15 to £20 following a unanimous decision by the Governance and Strategic Planning Committee.

It is hoped the move will result in more coaches opting to increase sessions and more places on courses opening up for local people.

Presenting a report to the committee, Paula Donnelly, the Lead Human Resources Officer, noted that the council’s leisure facilities derive a significant amount of their income from swimming lessons and other sports coaching sessions, and that the current rate of pay for coaching staff was a contributing factor in the recruitment and retention challenges faced by the council.

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She said, “There are opportunities for employees or casual workers to earn higher rates of pay at private facilities across the council area.”

Templemore Sports Complex swimming baths.Templemore Sports Complex swimming baths.
Templemore Sports Complex swimming baths.

“Councils across Northern Ireland have traditionally set their own coaching rates and do not apply an annual pay award,” she added. “The current rate of £15 per hour is lower than that paid in most other councils and it has been some years since that rate has been reviewed.”

Recommending that the coaching rate be increased to £20 per hour, Ms Donnelly added, “The trade unions have been consulted and have agreed to these proposed rates.

“We are hoping that the increased hourly rate should incentivise our employees to deliver coaching, which in turn should lead to more coaching sessions and thus increase the income of our leisure centres.”

Ms Donnelly assured the committee that any financial applications associated with the increase in coaching rate would be incorporated within current budgets.

Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter