Kirk takes action on Living Wage for carers

The Kirk is moving towards paying the Living Wage to all its carers, but says its hands are tied by the level of local authority funding it receives, according to a report.

Picture: TSPL

The Kirk, whose social care arm CrossReaach, is one of the biggest social care provider in Scotland with around 2,000 employees, receives 70 per cent of its funding from local authorities and health board contracts.

The aim is to all pay carers the Living Wage - £7.85 per hour - was discussed by the Kirk in 2012. The Living Wage is a voluntary code slightly above the national minimum wage for adults which is set to rise by 20 pence in October to £6.70 an hour.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, despite implementing a range of cutbacks the Kirk said it was still unable to implement this across the board due to lack of adequate funding and cuts in public spending.

But Sally Bonnar, convener of the Kirk’s Social Care Council, speaking at the General Assembly today, said some staff would see an increase in their pay packets in the autumn due to a funding increase from the Scottish Government, local authorities and its own Council of Assembly which increased its mission and renewal allocation.

“We are happy to report that the outcome of this tripartite increase in funding is that from 1 October, CrossReach will be in a position to pay a minimum of £7 per hour per week to all staff.

“This will be the rate for ancillary staff with care and support workers receiving the current Scottish Living wage of £7.85.

“The differential payments for employees between these two groups will also increase.

“This is to be celebrated, and we are grateful to the church for their part in this achievement, but we are not complacent and recognise that there is still some way to go before all staff are paid the living wage.”

Dave Watson, Scottish organiser for the Unite union, said: “We very much welcome the Church of Scotland’s stance on aiming to working to pay the Living Wage.

“We do accept there is an issue about government and local authority funding which needs to be higher.

“Paying the Living Wage means businesses hang on to their staff do not have to pay to advertise and retrain new people.

“It is also vital to think about the people being cared for - staff being over stretched means they are essentially running around not having enough time to care.

“This is pretty tough on everyone and says much more about the value we a society place on social care.” SHAN ROSS

The Kirk is moving towards paying the Living Wage to all its carers, but says its hands are tied by the level of local authority funding it receives, according to a report being discussed at the General Assembly.

The Kirk, whose social care arm CrossReaach, is one of the biggest social care provider in Scotland with around 2,000 employees, receives 70 per cent of its funding from local authorities and health board contracts.

The aim is to all pay carers the Living Wage - £7.85 per hour - was discussed by the Kirk in 2012.

The Living Wage is a voluntary code slightly above the national minimum wage for adults which is set to rise by 20 pence in October to £6.70 an hour.

However, despite implementing a range of cutbacks the Kirk said it was still unable to implement this across the board due to lack of adequate funding and cuts in public spending.

But Sally Bonnar, convener of the Kirk’s Social Care Council, said some staff would see an increase in their pay packets in the autumn due to a funding increase from the Scottish Government and local authorities.

“We are happy to report that the outcome of this tripartite increase in funding is that from 1 October, CrossReach will be in a position to pay a minimum of £7 per hour per week to all staff.

“This will be the rate for ancillary staff with care and support workers receiving the current Scottish Living wage of £7.85.

“The differential payments for employees between these two groups will also increase.

“This is to be celebrated, and we are grateful to the church for their part in this achievement, but we are not complacent and recognise that there is still some way to go before all staff are paid the living wage.”

Dave Watson, Scottish organiser for the Unite union, said: “We very much welcome the Church of Scotland’s stance on aiming to working to pay the Living Wage.

“We do accept there is an issue about government and local authority funding which needs to be higher.

“Paying the Living Wage means businesses hang on to their staff do not have to pay to advertise and retrain new people.

“It is also vital to think about the people being cared for - staff being overstretched means they are essentially running around not having enough time to care.

“This is pretty tough on everyone and says much more about the value we a society place on social care.