Unite Scotland is launching a campaign on Wednesday which targets the low pay and poor working conditions of Scotland’s care sector workers.
The union says that care workers are some of the lowest paid in the country despite the enormous contribution they make within our communities. Unite’s campaign aims to tackle this indignity by bringing these workers together; uniting them for the first time, within a collective trade union agreement.
There are currently no sectoral agreements in place for third sector care workers, but Unite aims to change this by campaigning for a sectoral approach to improve the terms, conditions and rights of all care sector workers.
As key workers, Scotland’s care sector workers have found themselves at the forefront of providing care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst these workers have received applause from the general public for their service, this simply is not enough.
Unite is calling on the Scottish Government to recognise the contribution made by all care workers and to set up a National Care Service to provide oversight of the sector and enhance pay, terms and conditions and services across the sector.
The Unite Campaign is focused around 3 key demands:
The establishment of sectoral and national bargaining for all carers not covered by existing and agreed bargaining processes to ensure that standards are met and every carer receives the best pay and conditions.
The development of a professional skilled user responsive National Care service to oversee and regulate the sector and ensure the highest standards are met.
That a body be formed involving client groups, trade unions, employers, local government and Scottish Government with a clear mandate to drive through the changes necessary to make the care sector in Scotland the envy of the world.
Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Workers across the care sector have told Unite that enough is enough and that steps must be taken to address low pay, poor terms and conditions and a lack of real support. While welcoming the clapping that took place at the onset of the first lockdown, unfortunately that doesn’t put food on the table. Today we ask the question of all our elected representatives ‘Who cares for our carers?’
“These workers deserve to be recognised and rewarded for the vital work that they do, day in day out, Covid or no Covid. The time is now to bring about positive change to ensure that these workers get a better deal.