On the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act 1970, York Central MP Rachael Maskell and Anna Perrett the Deputy Leader of the Labour Group of Councillors call for a pay rise for carers to recognise the vital contribution they make in our community.
Following the data released by The Fawcett Society this week, the report found over 70% of the public believe care workers are underpaid and want to see our carers be acknowledged with key requests including:
- Increase social care workers’ wages across the board, starting with the Real Living Wage with immediate effect and building rapidly to parallel levels of pay as set out in the NHS Agenda for Change grades for health care assistants
- Reform and invest in the social care sector, and protect social care budgets from any future funding cuts.
- Regulate care work and place this on a professional footings accompanied with training and development opportunities
- Improve care workers’ terms and conditions: provide adequate PPE, end 15-minute visits and zero-hours contracts, pay for travel time, and give all workers entitlement to statutory sick pay.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“Across the nation, every Thursday at 8pm, we individually show our personal appreciation to our carer staff, we stand on our doorsteps in solidarity and ‘Clap for Carers’. Yesterday evening was no different. Today is the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act 1970, there has never been a more pertinent time to acknowledge the fact that our carers have been underpaid and seen as undervalued by many in a role that is vital for the health and wellbeing of so many others who rely on them”
“Eight out of ten care workers are women, and the sector is characterised by low pay with many paid at just minimum wage levels. Work being done by women is still consistently being undervalued. Everyone who works in the care sector are professional, selfless and dedicated in all they do, now is the time that these vital workers receive a salary which reflects the importance of the work they do and the attributes they bring to people and our communities”
Cllr Anna Perrett says:
“Over the past two months, we have seen our care workers go above and beyond, making huge personal sacrifices to ensure that people have received the best possible care during a pandemic. It is a sector dominated by women, and one which is blighted by low pay and terms and conditions, with a quarter of care workers on zero hours contracts, and many who would not even qualify for statutory sick pay if they got ill.
“With 72% of respondents thinking care workers are underpaid, it is clear that we need to use this moment to build a clear cross-party vision for an improved care system, one which values the contribution of paid and unpaid carers and protects them while they care for some of our most vulnerable residents. As local authorities face increased budget pressures, it is vital that social care is prioritised and properly funded. Rather than simply clap for our carers, we need to give them the respect they deserve.”
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