The #BetterPay4SocialCare coalition visited the steps of the HM Treasury on the 21st September, to shine a light on the rates of pay for care workers.
Care workers, people supported by care workers, social care organisations and advocates attended to promote the cause.
The recent Government announcement that National Insurance contributions will rise by 1.25% to contribute to social care could mean that social care workers’ wage packets will be hit even harder. The coalition argues that this makes the need of a fairer wage for social care workers even more pressing.
Following the #BetterPay4SocialCare Action Week at the beginning of September, 9,399 members of the public have already signed the petition calling on Government to ensure all social care workers receive a minimum of the Real Living Wage of £9.50 (£10.85 in London).
#BetterPay4SocialCare coalition members from the Association for Real Change, Mencap Heart of England, SeeAbility, Dimensions, the Brandon Trust and Autism at Kingwood, as well as people supported by these organisations, met on the Treasury steps with banners and other promotional items, including a giant cheque stating the Real Living Wage, to draw attention to the low salaries of social care workers and drive even more support to the #BetterPay4SocialCare petition.
The petition will be delivered by Kate Allen CEO and Philippa Stannard, Fundraising and Communications Manager, of Autism at Kingwood, at the Tory party conference on Tuesday 5th October.
The coalition has shared some of the comments from the #BetterPay4SocialCare petition.
Lauren H, said, ‘Working in this industry is really hard and we are paid less than supermarket workers yet have people’s lives in our hands daily.’
Timothy W, said, ‘If front line staff pay doesn’t improve, we will see serious challenges to the staffing of services affecting the safety, health and wellbeing of people supported. Staff pay does not reflect how important the role is, staff are having to leave the sector for better paid jobs due to the cost of living. Local authorities’ financial uplifts for support organisations have not kept pace with National living wage crippling the industry. The Government needs to drive up pay for care staff as a priority.’
Alun M, said, ‘I signed because we as a sector, care staff are massively undervalued. The job has only got more complex with time, we literally hold peoples' lives in our hands and despite what the Government thinks, applause doesn't pay the bills.’
Liam, said, ‘No furlough for front-line care staff. We've just got on with it in order to provide the most vulnerable in society with a great quality of life. We've had to put the lives of those in our own families who may be vulnerable to COVID at risk to continue to care for the most vulnerable in society who live in a care setting. All for minimum wage.’
Visit the Kingwood website for more information about the #BetterPay4SocialCare petition.
In other news, health and care sector leaders and experts united this week, to help shape healthcare reform.