Union disappointed by care providers not paying Living Wage

Concern over care providers not paying staff the 'living wage'.
Concern over care providers not paying staff the 'living wage'.
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Scotland’s largest trade union has expressed disappointment that some care providers have not yet agreed to pay the living wage ahead of Saturday’s deadline.

Unison reiterated its welcome for the Scottish Government pledge that all care workers in adult social care be paid £8.25 per hour from October 1, backed by a £250 million investment.

The trade union said some providers had not yet committed despite ministers writing to social care funders to make clear the pledge should be delivered.

Unison, which represents care workers in the local government, private and voluntary sectors, said it would work to ensure the policy was enforced across Scotland.

Unison manager Peter Hunter said: ‘Unison has led the talks with the Scottish Government for care workers to be paid at least £8.25 per hour. It will make a huge difference to a large, low-paid, mostly women workforce.

“It is crucial that we now ensure this policy is enforced across the sector. There are thousands of care providers in Scotland and Unison is working in partnership with others to make sure they pay the living wage from October 1.

“Unison will address all non-payment problems our members face and we are encouraging all care workers to join us so we can deal with any issues.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “This year we’re investing £250 million from the NHS to protect and grow our social care services, including paying adult care workers the real Living Wage.

“This is on top of the £500 million we’re already investing over three years to support the integration of health and social care.

“We recognise the complexities of implementation and earlier this month we wrote to commissioners to identify any local issues, so further support could be provided where needed.

“Good progress has been made in many areas and remaining negotiations are taking place.

“This is an ambitious commitment which will allow councils to commission adult social care from the independent and voluntary sectors on the basis that care workers are paid the real Living Wage of £8.25 an hour - giving up to 40,000 people, mainly women, doing some of the most valuable work in Scotland a well-deserved pay rise.”